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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 184 the BEATLES’ song REAL LOVE (Featured artist is David Hammonds )

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The Beatles – Real Love

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The Beatles are featured in this episode below and Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world.”

How Should We then Live Episode 7 

 

The Beatles:

Real Love (Beatles song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Real Love”
Song by John Lennon from the album Imagine: John Lennon
Released 10 October 1988
Recorded New York City
Length 2:48
Label
Writer(s) John Lennon
Producer(s)
“Real Love”
Real-love1.jpg
Single by The Beatles
from the album Anthology 2
B-side Baby’s in Black(Live)
Released 4 March 1996
Format
Recorded
Genre Rock
Length 3:54
Label Apple 58544
Writer(s) John Lennon
Producer(s) Jeff Lynne
The Beatles singles chronology
Free as a Bird
(1995)
Real Love
(1996)
Music sample
MENU
0:00
Music video
“Real Love” on YouTube

Real Love” is a song written by John Lennon, and recorded with overdubs by the three surviving Beatles in 1995 for release as part of The Beatles Anthology project. To date, it is the last released record of new material credited to the Beatles.

Lennon made six takes of the song in 1979 and 1980 with “Real Life”, a different song that merged with “Real Love”. The song was ignored until 1988 when the sixth take was used on the documentary soundtrack Imagine: John Lennon.

“Real Love” was subsequently reworked by the three surviving former members of the Beatles (Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) in early 1995, an approach also used for another incomplete Lennon track, “Free as a Bird“. “Real Love” was released as a Beatles single in 1996 in the United Kingdom, United States and many other countries; it was the opening track on the Beatles’ Anthology 2 album. It is the last “new” credited Beatles song to originate and be included on an album. To date, it is the last single by the group to become a top 40 hit in the US.

The song reached number 4 and number 11, respectively, in the UK and US singles charts, and earned a gold record more quickly than a number of the group’s other singles. The song was not included on the BBC Radio 1 playlist, prompting criticism from fans and British members of parliament. After the release of “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love”, Starr commented: “Recording the new songs didn’t feel contrived at all, it felt very natural and it was a lot of fun, but emotional too at times. But it’s the end of the line, really. There’s nothing more we can do as the Beatles.”[1]

Early origins[edit]

According to Beatles biographer John T. Marck, “Real Love” originated as part of an unfinished stage play that Lennon was working on at the time titled “The Ballad of John and Yoko”. The song was first recorded in 1977 with a hand-held tape recorder on his piano at home. Eventually the work evolved under the title “Real Life”, a song Lennon would record at least six takes of in 1979 and 1980, and then abandoned. The song was eventually combined with elements of another Lennon demo, “Baby Make Love to You”.[2] In June 1978, Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono told the press that they were working on a musical, “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, which had been planned during the previous year.[3] Songs proposed to be included up to this point were “Real Love” and “Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him“.[3]

In later versions, Lennon altered portions of the song; for example, “no need to be alone / it’s real love / yes, it’s real love” became “why must it be alone / it’s real / well it’s real life.” Some takes included an acoustic guitar, while the eventual Beatles release features Lennon on piano, with rudimentary double-tracked vocals, and a tambourine. The version released in 1996 most closely reflected the lyrical structure of the early demo takes of the song.[4]

Lennon appears to have considered recording “Real Love” for his and Ono’s 1980 album Double Fantasy. A handwritten draft of the album’s running order places it as the possible opening track on side two.[5] The song remained largely forgotten until 1988, when the take 6 of “Real Love” appeared on the Imagine: John Lennon soundtrack album. The song was also released on the Acoustic album in 2004. The demo with just Lennon on piano was issued in 1998 on John Lennon Anthology and then later on Working Class Hero: The Definitive Lennon.

Reuniting the Beatles[edit]

Before the Anthology project, the closest the Beatles had come to reuniting on record (while all four members were still alive) was for Starr’s Ringo album in 1973, when Lennon, Harrison and Starr collaborated on “I’m the Greatest“. By the early 1990s, the idea of redoing some of Lennon’s old songs was inspired by former Beatles road manager Neil Aspinall and Harrison, who first requested some demos from Ono. In January 1994, McCartney went to New York City for Lennon’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While there, he received at least four songs from Ono. According to Aspinall, it was “two cassettes” which “might have been five or six tracks”. Ono said of the occasion: “It was all settled before then, I just used that occasion to hand over the tapes personally to Paul. I did not break up the Beatles, but I was there at the time, you know? Now I’m in a position where I could bring them back together and I would not want to hinder that.”[6]

In an interview, McCartney remarked:

Yoko said “I’ve got a couple of tracks I’ll play you, you might be interested”. I’d never heard them before but she explained that they’re quite well known to Lennon fans as bootlegs. I said to Yoko, “Don’t impose too many conditions on us, it’s really difficult to do this, spiritually. We don’t know, we may hate each other after two hours in the studio and just walk out. So don’t put any conditions, it’s tough enough. If it doesn’t work out, you can veto it.” When I told George and Ringo I’d agreed to that, they were going, “What? What if we love it?” It didn’t come to that, luckily.[6]

McCartney, Harrison and Starr then focused their attention on four songs: “Free as a Bird“, “Real Love”, “Grow Old with Me” and “Now and Then“. Of these, they liked “Free as a Bird” the most, and worked hard on it. Eventually the song was released as the first new Beatles single since 1970. The remaining Beatles then turned their attention to “Real Love”, which, co-producer Jeff Lynne later remarked, at least “had a complete set of words”.[7]

Working in the studio[edit]

With George Martin declining to produce the new recording, the Beatles brought in Electric Light Orchestra‘s Jeff Lynne, who had worked extensively with Harrison, including as part of the Traveling Wilburys, and had already co-produced “Free as a Bird”.[1] The first problem that the team had to confront was the low quality of the demo, as Lennon had recorded it on a hand-held tape recorder. Lynne recalled:

We tried out a new noise reduction system, and it really worked. The problem I had with “Real Love” was that not only was there a 60 cycles mains hum going on, there was also a terrible amount of hiss, because it had been recorded at a low level. I don’t know how many generations down this copy was, but it sounded like at least a couple. So I had to get rid of the hiss and the mains hum, and then there were clicks all the way through it … We’d spend a day on it, then listen back and still find loads more things wrong … It didn’t have any effect on John’s voice, because we were just dealing with the air surrounding him, in between phrases. That took about a week to clean up before it was even usable and transferable to a DAT master. Putting fresh music to it was the easy part![1]

Although “Real Love” was more complete than “Free as a Bird”, which had required the addition of some lyrics by McCartney,[6] the song also suffered from problems with Lennon’s timing. Lynne recalled that “it took a lot of work to get it all in time so that the others could play to it.”[7] Lynne emphasised that the three remaining Beatles were keen to ensure the song sounded very “Beatles-y”: “What we were trying to do was create a record that was timeless, so we steered away from using state-of the-art gear. We didn’t want to make it fashionable.”[7]

As with “Free as a Bird”, the Beatles worked at McCartney’s studio in Sussex, with the intention of producing another single. Added to the demo were the sounds of a double bass (originally owned by Elvis Presley’s bassist, Bill Black), Fender Jazz bass guitar, a couple of Fender Stratocaster guitars, one of which was Harrison’s psychedelically-painted “Rocky” Strat (as seen in the “I Am the Walrus” video), as well as a Ludwig drum kit.[7] Other than their regular instruments, a Baldwin Combo Harpsichord (as played by Lennon on the Beatles song “Because“) and a harmonium (which appeared on the band’s 1965 hit single “We Can Work It Out“) were also used. During the recording process, it was decided to speed up the tape, thereby raising the key from D minor to E flat minor.[8]

As their sound engineer, the Beatles opted for Geoff Emerick, who had not only worked with them to a great extent in the 1960s, but is often credited with many of the Beatles’ audio inventions. The assistant engineer was Jon Jacobs, who had worked with McCartney and Emerick since the late 1970s. The attitude in the studio was very relaxed, according to Lynne: “Paul and George would strike up the backing vocals – and all of a sudden it’s the Beatles again! … I’d be waiting to record and normally I’d say, ‘OK, Let’s do a take’, but I was too busy laughing and smiling at everything they were talking about.” Starr said that the lightheartedness was key to ensuring he, Harrison and McCartney could focus on the task: “We just pretended that John had gone on holiday or out for tea and had left us the tape to play with. That was the only way we could deal with it, and get over the hurdle, because [it] was really very emotional.”[7]

Music video[edit]

The single’s video features shots of the three remaining Beatles recording in Sussex, mixed with shots of the Beatles taken during their career. Geoff Wonfor, who directed the Anthology documentary, filmed the Beatles recording in the studio with a handheld camcorder, as they did not want to be aware of the camera recording. Kevin Godley, who co-directed the music video, said that it was meant to be a “fly on the wall thing”.[1]

Two different versions of the video were made. The first version aired during the second installment of The Beatles Anthology television mini-series on ABC, at the end of the episode. The second version is the more common of the two, and appears on the Anthology DVD set. The most notable difference between the two is in the way the videos begin: the first is presented by a strawberry – possibly a reference to “Strawberry Fields Forever“, although also quite likely a nod to Godley’s “Strawberry Studios” – while the second opens with a piano (the piano chord at the beginning).

Release[edit]

Although “Real Love” was released as single in both the UK and US on 4 March 1996, the first time the song was publicly aired was on 22 November 1995, when the American television network, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) aired the second episode of The Beatles Anthology. The single debuted on the British charts on 16 March 1996 at number 4, selling 50,000 copies in its first week.[9] The single’s chart performance was subsequently hindered by BBC Radio 1‘s exclusion of “Real Love” from its playlist. Reuters, which described Radio 1 as “the biggest pop music station in Britain”, reported that the station had declared: “It’s not what our listeners want to hear … We are a contemporary music station.”[10]

Beatles spokesman Geoff Baker responded by saying that the band’s response was “Indignation. Shock and surprise. We carried out research after the Anthology was launched and this revealed that 41% of the buyers were teenagers.”[11] The station’s actions contrasted strongly with what had occurred at the launch of “Free as a Bird” the year before, when Radio 1 became the first station to play the song on British airwaves. The exclusion of “Real Love” provoked a fierce reaction from fans also, and elicited comment from two members of parliament (MPs). Conservative MP Harry Greenway called the action censorship, and urged the station to reverse what he called a ban.[10]

An angry McCartney wrote an 800-word article for British newspaper The Daily Mirror about the alleged ban, in which he stated: “the Beatles don’t need our new single, ‘Real Love’, to be a hit. It’s not as if our careers depend on it … It’s very heartening to know that, while the kindergarten kings of Radio 1 may think the Beatles are too old to come out to play, a lot of younger British bands don’t seem to share that view. I’m forever reading how bands like Oasis are openly crediting the Beatles as inspiration, and I’m pleased that I can hear the Beatles in a lot of the music around today.” The letter was published on 9 March, the day after Radio 1 announced the “ban”.[11][dead link]

The station’s controller, Matthew Bannister, denied that the failure to include “Real Love” was a ban, saying that it merely meant that the song had not been included on the playlist of each week’s 60 most regularly featured songs.[citation needed] The station also hit back by devoting a “Golden Hour” to the group’s music as well as music by bands influenced by the Beatles. This “Golden Hour” concluded with a playing of “Real Love”.[12]

“Real Love” fell out of the British charts in seven weeks, never topping its initial position of number 4. In the US, the single entered the charts on 30 March, and peaked at number 11.[13] After four months, 500,000 copies had been sold in the US.[9][14] The Beatles’ compilation album Anthology 2, which included the song, eventually topped the British and American albums charts.[15][16]

John Lennon’s solo versions appear on several Lennon compilations, the film Imagine: John Lennon, and also in a 2007 ad campaign for J. C. Penney.[17] On 6 November 2015, Apple Records released a new deluxe version of the 1 album in different editions and variations (known as 1+). Most of the tracks on 1 have been remixed from the original multi-track masters by Giles Martin. Martin and Jeff Lynne also remixed “Real Love” for the DVD and Blu-ray releases. The remix of “Real Love” cleans up Lennon’s vocal further, and reinstates a several deleted elements originally recorded in 1995, such as lead guitar phrases and drum fills, as well as making the harpsichord and harmonium more prominent in the mix.

Lyrics and melody[edit]

The song’s lyrics have been interpreted by one reviewer to be conveying the message that “love is the answer to loneliness” and “that connection is the antidote to unreality.”[18]

The song has been sped up 12% from the demo, apparently to “effect the … snappy tempo” as Alan W. Pollack has speculated. The tune is nearly completely pentatonic, comprising primarily the notes E, F, G, B and C. The refrain is higher than the verse; while the verse covers a full octave, the refrain, at its peak, is a fifth higher.[19]

The instrumental intro is four measures long, and the verse and refrain are eight measures. The introduction occurs in parallel E minor,[20] with the main thrust of the song being in E major. There are several other occasions where Lennon moves to a chord from the parallel minor, e.g. in the chorus where the progression moves from a major tonic (I) chord to a minor subdominant (iv) chord. The move to minor harmony happens on the words ‘alone’ and ‘afraid’. This combination of lyrics and harmony turning at the same point is a common Beatles device, and helps give the song a wistful feeling. The outro largely comprises the last half of the refrain repeated seven times, slowly fading out.[19]

Personnel[edit]

Sixth take
Beatles version

According to Ian MacDonald[21] and Mark Lewisohn:[22]

Track listings[edit]

All tracks written by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted.

7″ (R6425)
  1. “Real Love” (Lennon) – 3:54
    • Recorded at The Dakota, New York City, circa 1979 (original demo) and at The Mill Studio, Sussex, in February 1995.
  2. Baby’s in Black” – 3:03
    • Recorded live at the Hollywood Bowl on 29 August 1965 (spoken introduction by Lennon) and 30 August 1965 (song performance).
CD (CDR6425)
  1. “Real Love” (Lennon) – 3:54
  2. “Baby’s in Black” – 3:03
  3. Yellow Submarine” – 2:48
    • Recorded at EMI Studios, London, on 26 May and 1 June 1966. A new remix with a previously unreleased “marching” introduction with the sound effects mixed higher in volume throughout.
  4. Here, There and Everywhere” – 2:23
    • Recorded at EMI Studios, London, on 16 June 1966. This is a combination of take 7 (a mono mix of the basic track with McCartney’s guide vocal) with a 1995 stereo remix of the harmony vocals as overdubbed onto take 13 superimposed at the end.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[24] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[25] 50
Germany (Official German Charts)[26] 45
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[27] 4
France (SNEP)[28] 36
Ireland (IRMA)[29] 8
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[30] 21
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[31] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[32] 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[33] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[34] 11
US Cash Box Top 100[35] 10

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[36] Gold 500,000^
*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Tom Odell version[edit]

“Real Love”
Real-Love-by-Tom-Odell.jpg
Single by Tom Odell
Released 6 November 2014
Format Digital download
Genre Pop
Length 2:21
Label Sony
Writer(s) John Lennon
Tom Odell singles chronology
I Know
(2013)
Real Love
(2014)
Wrong Crowd
(2016)

In 2014, English singer-songwriter Tom Odell released a cover version of the song. It was released on 6 November 2014 in the United Kingdom as a digital download through Sony. The song was selected as the soundtrack to the John Lewis 2014 Christmas advertisement and was later included on the “Spending All My Christmas With You” EP released in 2016.

Chart performance

On 9 November 2014 (week ending 15 November 2014), “Real Love” debuted at number 21 in the UK Singles Chart with only 3 days of sales, and then reached a new peak of number 7 the following week.

Track listing
Digital download
No. Title Length
1. “Real Love” 2:21

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts
Chart (2014) Peak
position
Ireland (IRMA)[37] 16
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[38] 89
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[39] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[33] 7
Release history
Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom 6 November 2014 Digital download Sony

Other versions[edit]

Regina Spektor recorded a cover version of “Real Love” for Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, released in June 2007. She performed that cover at Bonnaroo the same month.[40]

Adam Sandler performed the song in the 2009 film Funny People. This version is also found on the film’s soundtrack.

The Last Royals released a cover version of “Real Love” on September 1, 2015 [41][42]

 External links[edit]

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Real Love
All my little plans and schemes
Lost like some forgotten dreams
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for you
Just like little girls and boys
Playing with their little toys
Seems like all they really were doing
Was waiting for love
Don’t need to be alone
No need to be alone
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
From this moment on I know
Exactly where my life will go
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for love
Don’t need to be afraid
No need to be afraid
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
Thought I’d been in love before
But in my heart, I wanted more
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you
Don’t need to be alone
Don’t need to be alone
It’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real

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In 1970 the Beatles broke up and their search for meaning as a group ended. They had rejected the “plastic” culture of “peace and affluence” that the earlier generation was offering according to Schaeffer and they started their search in the area of drugs.  Francis Schaeffer noted:

First they were just a rock group, then they took to drugs and expressed that in such 
songs as Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. When 
drugs didn't pan out, when they saw what was happening in 
Haight-Ashbury, they turned to the psychedelic sounds of 
Straivberry Fields, and then went further into Eastern religious 
experiences. But that, too, did not work out, and they wound 
up their career as a group by making The Yellow Submarine. 
When they made this movie, some people said, "The Beatles 
are coming back." But of course that was not the case. It was 
really 'the sad end of their ideological search as a group. It's 
interesting that Erich Segal, the man who wrote the film script 
for The Yellow Submarine, then wrote Love Story.

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Top 7 Bible Verses About Loving One Another

Jesus commanded believers to love God and to love one another and so what are some of the top Bible verses commanding us to love one another?

The Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:37-39 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus gave us the greatest commandment of all.  We must love God first and foremost and this love encompasses all of our minds, our soul, and our heart.  That means our devotion toward God comes first (Matt 6:33) and involves all that we think about (our mind), all of our soul (whatever we do), and all of our heart (what we desire the most).  We are also to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Of course, we don’t need to learn to love ourselves because that comes naturally, at least for most, but to love others means that we take care of them as we do our own body, mind, and soul.

Jesus’ New Commandment

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

This commandment is evangelistic in nature because Jesus says that by our loving one another “everyone will know that [we] are [His] disciples.”  The converse is true; if we are not loving one another or acting in love toward one another, everyone will know that we are not His disciples. This love is the same kind of love that Jesus directed toward them…and that was a life-giving, self-sacrificing kind of love that was willing to die for others.

Honoring Others in Love

Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Love is not a feeling but a choice. It’s not what you feel but more what you do.  Being devoted to one another in love means that we honor others above ourselves as it puts others first and ourselves last.

Knowing God is Knowing Love

First John 4:7-8 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

If someone hates their brother, then they don’t really know God and are a liar because John writes that “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20). Talk is cheap.  Anyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer at heart (Matt 5:21-22).  Someone can say that they “know God” but if they don’t love others, they are only lying to themselves and to us.

Love our Enemies

Matthew 5:44-45 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

It’s easy to love our friends and family but what’s so different about that than from the way the world lives?  Unbelievers do the same thing (Matt 5:46-47).  What is truly remarkable and displays the love of God in our hearts is when we love our enemies and more than that, we pray for them who persecute us.  Jesus said that if we do this, it makes us the true children of God.  Jesus said “that you may be children of your Father in heaven” or to put it another way, “so that you might be the children of your Father in Heaven.”

25 Awesome Love Quotes

Loving Others like Christ Loves Us

John 15:12-13 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Jesus commands us to love others just as Jesus loved us and that means we are to be willing to die for them, as He said “greater love has no one than this.”  Easy to say, hard to do but remember that Jesus died for us while we were still His enemies and wicked sinners (Rom 5:8, 10).

Loving Others Scriptures

Love Fulfills the Law

Romans 12:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Paul is writing that we should stay debt free but one debt remains that has an outstanding balance and that is the “debt to love one another” because “whoever loves others has fulfilled the law” and Paul may be referring to Jesus’ commandment to love one another as He loved us.

Conclusion

God loved us so much that He gave us the supreme example and so “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19), not that we loved Him first.  He loved us so much that He willingly gave His one and only unique Son to die for us so that we might have eternal  life (John 3:16-17) and in fact, it was the only way to gain eternal life!   If you haven’t trusted in Christ and repented, then you do not presently have eternal life but an eternal death sentence hanging over you (Rev 20:11-15).  I trust that is not your eternity because time is short but eternity is a long, long time.

Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book  Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon

 

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David Hammons

(born 1943, Springfield, Illinois; lives and works in Brooklyn and Harlem, New York)

David Hammons
David Hammons

David Hammons is a conceptual artist working in a variety of media including performance, installation, sculpture, printmaking, among other modes of production. Hammons occupies an iconic role in this exhibition and remains a point of influence for many of the artists included. Beginning in the 1960s in Los Angeles, and then later in New York, Hammons set a compelling precedent for with his witty, wry conceptual approach to infusing art into life and vice versa. Much of his early work incorporates the body and ordinary found materials—hair, chicken bones, grease, musical instruments, shovels, paper bags. From these functional or punning objects, Hammons creates art that resonates with the puns and humor of Conceptual art, and with the material, corporeal and social presence of African-American life. Two works from the late 1960s and early 70s on view at the Grey Art Gallery are drawn from Hammons’s iconic series of body prints, in which he coated himself with grease or pigment and then used his own body to create impressions on paper. While they function as stand-alone works of art, the prints also serve as records of the physical markings of Hammons’s gestural and performative process.

In the famed performance Bliz-aard Ball Sale (1983), documentation of which is on view at both the Studio Museum and the Grey Art Gallery, Hammons stood on the street alongside other vendors on Cooper Square, selling snowballs in different sizes (from XS to XL) to passersby. By assigning value and appearing to seek profit from a commonplace, short-lived object, Hammons draws attention to both the arbitrary nature of the art market and the precarious financial conditions of many working-class New Yorkers.

Biography
Before moving to New York in 1974, David Hammons studied in Los Angeles at Chouinard Art Institute and Otis Art Institute. He was an artist in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem in 1980–81. His solo exhibitions include David Hammons, L&M Arts, New York (2011); Sequence 1, Skulptur Projekte Munster 07, Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2007); David Hammons, L&M Arts, New York (2007); and Real Time, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland (2000). His group exhibitions include Radical Conceptual: Positionen aus der Sammlung des MMK, Museum fur moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany (2010); 30 Seconds off an Inch, The Studio Museum in Harlem (2009);NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, Menil Collection, Houston (2008, traveling); Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flanerie, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY (2008); Black Panther Rank and File, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2006); Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2005); Shadowland: An Exhibition as a Film, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2005); Seeds and Roots, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2004); The Big Nothing, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2004); Dreams and Conflicts: The Dictatorship of the Viewer, Venice Biennial (2003); and Over the Edges, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium (2000).

A LOOK @ DAVID HAMMONS

David Hammons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the American congressman, see David Hammons (Maine).

The flagstaff is set atop the building, tilted 45° to the left, and the flag is rippling in the wind to the right.

David Hammons, African American Flag, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.

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David Hammons (born 1943) is an American artist especially known for his works in and around New York City and Los Angeles during the 1970s and 1980s.

Early life[edit]

David Hammons was born in 1943 in Springfield, Illinois, the youngest of ten children of a single mother.[1] In 1962 he moved to Los Angeles, where he started attending Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts) from 1966 to 1968 and the Otis Art Institute from 1968 to 1972.[2] There he was influenced by internationally known artists such as Bruce Nauman, John Baldessari, and Chris Burden, but was also part of a pioneering group of African-American artists and jazz musicians in Los Angeles, with influence outside the area.[3] In 1974 Hammons settled in New York City, where he slowly became better known nationally. He still lives and works in New York.

Art practice[edit]

Much of his work reflects his commitment to the civil rights and Black Power movements. A good example is the early Spade with Chains (1973), where the artist employs a provocative, derogatory term, coupled with the literal gardening instrument, in order to make a visual pun between the blade of a shovel and an African mask, and a contemporary statement about the issues of bondage and resistance. This was part of a larger series of “Spade” works in the 1970s, including Bird (1973), where Charlie Parker is evoked by a spade emerging from a saxophone, and Spade, a 1974 print where the artist pressed his face against the shape leaving a caricature-like imprint of Negroid features.[4]

In 1980, Hammons took part in Colab‘s ground-breaking The Times Square Show, which acted as a forum for exchange of ideas for a younger set of alternative artists in New York. His installation was made of glistening scattered shards of glass (from broken bottles of Night Train wine).[5]

Other works play on the association of basketball and young black men, such as drawings made by repeatedly bouncing a dirty basketball on huge sheets of clean white paper set on the floor; a series of larger-than-life basketball hoops, meticulously decorated with bottle caps, evoking Islamic mosaic and design; and Higher Goals (1986), where an ordinary basketball hoop, net, and backboard are set on a three-story high pole – commenting on the almost impossible aspirations of sports stardom as a way out of the ghetto.

Through his varied work and media, and frequent changes in direction, Hammons has managed to avoid one signature visual style. Much of his work makes allusions to, and shares concerns with minimalism and post-minimal art, but with added Duchampian references to the place of Black people in American society.[6]

On James Turrell‘s works concerning perception of light, Hammons said “I wish I could make art like that, but we’re too oppressed for me to be dabbling out there…. I would love to do that because that could also be very black. You know, as a black artist, dealing just with light. They would say, “how in the hell could he deal with that, coming from where he did?” I want to get to that, I’m trying to get to that, but I’m not free enough yet. I still feel I have to get my message out.”[7]

Along with his focus on cultural overtones, Hammons’s work also discusses the notions of public and private spaces, as well as what constitutes a valuable commodity. An illustration of these concepts can be seen in Bliz-aard Ball Sale (1983), a performance piece in which Hammons situates himself alongside street vendors in downtown Manhattan in order to sell snowballs which are priced according to size.[8] This act serves both as a parody on commodity exchange and a commentary on the capitalistic nature of art fostered by art galleries. Furthermore, it puts a satirical premium on “whiteness“, ridiculing the superficial luxury of racial classification as well as critiquing the hard social realities of street vending experienced by those who have been discriminated against in terms of race or class.

Also noteworthy is the artist’s use of discarded or abject materials, including but not limited to elephant dung, chicken parts, strands of African-American hair, and bottles of cheap wine. Many critics see these objects as evocative of the desperation of the poor, Black urban class, but Hammons reportedly saw a sort of sacrosanct or ritualistic power in these materials, which is why he utilized them so extensively.

Others[edit]

In “The Window: Rented Earth: David Hammons,” [9] an early solo exhibition at the New Museum, Hammons dealt with the diametrically opposed relationship between spirituality and technology by juxtaposing an African tribal mask with a modern-day invention—a child’s toy television set.

Hammons explored the video medium, collaborating with artist Alex Harsley on a number of video works, including Phat Free (originally titled Kick the Bucket), which was included in the Whitney Biennial and other venues. Hammons and Harsley have also collaborated on installations at New York’s 4th Street Photo Gallery, a noted East Village artist exhibition and project space.

In a show at L & M Arts in uptown Manhattan (January 18–March 31, 2007, his first authorized New York show since 2002, although there have been unauthorized surveys), Hammons collaborated with Japanese artist Chie (Hasegawa) Hammons in a piece that enjoyed public acclaim.[10] In the posh uptown gallery specially selected by Hammons (who does not accept to be associated with any one gallery), they installed full-length fur coats on antique dress forms—two minks, a fox, a sable, a wolf and a chinchilla: “Hammons and his wife have also painted, burned, burnished, and stained the backs of all of these coats, turning them into aesthetic/ethical/sartorial traps…. Hammons has said that he wants ‘to slide away from visuals and get deeper.’ At L & M, not only does Hammons do this; along the way he conjures thoughts of shamanism, politics, consumerism, animism, genre painting, animal rights, and jokes. Here, we’re treated to a sensibility as barbed, serious, maybe fearsome, and as passionate as any in the art world.”[11]

Among the artists whose works reference similar movements such as arte povera and artistic forebears including Marcel Duchamp are Jack Daws,[12]Jimmie Durham, Gabriel Orozco, Chakaia Booker, Lorna Simpson, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.[13]

Collections and awards[edit]

Hammons’s African American Flag is a part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. He also has work in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; The Tate, London; and other museums and collections.

Hammons received the MacArthur Fellowship (popularly known as the “Genius Grant”) in July 1991.

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Schjeldahl, Peter (December 23, 2002). “The Walker”. The New Yorker. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  2. Jump up^ “David Hammons – Biography”. L&M Arts. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  3. Jump up^ “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980”. Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  4. Jump up^ Fusco, Coco; Christian Haye (May 22, 1985). “Wreaking Havoc on the Signified”. Frieze (22).
  5. Jump up^ Ahern, Charles. “The Times Square Show revisited”. (as told to Shawna Cooper, August 8, 2011). Hunter College Gallery, CUNY. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  6. Jump up^ Fusco, Coco; Christian Haye (May 22, 1985). “Wreaking Havoc on the Signified”. Frieze (22).
  7. Jump up^  Mcfadden, Jane. “Here, here, or there : on the whereabouts of art in the seventies.” Pacific standard time : Los Angeles art 1945-1980. Los Angleles: Getty Research Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011. 262.
  8. Jump up^ “Can you remove the rainbow from happening?”. InEnArt. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  9. Jump up^ “The Window: Rented Earth: David Hammons”. New Museum archive.
  10. Jump up^ The Brooklyn Rail (April 2007), “David and Chie Hammons,” review by Jen Schwarting; The Village Voice (February 27, 2007), “Fur What It’s Worth,” by Jerry Saltz; among others.
  11. Jump up^ Jerry Saltz, “Fur What It’s Worth”, The Village Voice, February 27, 2007.
  12. Jump up^ Hackett, Regina. (August 14, 2003), Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  13. Jump up^ Foster, Hal, et al. Art Since 1900: 1945 to the Present, Vol. 2, New York: Thames and Hudson Inc., 2004, pp. 617–620.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

 

_______

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 183 Rolling Stones song “Gimme Shelter” (Featured artist is Martin Sharp)

 

The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter (Official Lyric Video)

Published on May 16, 2016

Lyric video for “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones.

Gimme Shelter
Directed by: Hector Santizo
Composers: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Producers: Julian Klein, Robin Klein, Mick Gochanour, Hector Santizo
(C) 2016 ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.

Download or stream the song below:
iTunes:https://itun.es/us/XzriN?i=656479859
Google: https://play.google.com/store/music/a…
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0016CVK82/…
Stream On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/6H3kDe…

Lyrics:
Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’
Our very street today
Burns like a red coat carpet
Mad bull lost your way

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

The flood is threat’ning
My very life today
Gimme, gimme shelter
Or I’m gonna fade away

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
I tell you love, sister, it’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
Kiss away, kiss away

Gimme Shelter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Gimme Shelter”
Song by The Rolling Stones
from the album Let It Bleed
Released 5 December 1969
Recorded 23 February & 2 November 1969
Genre
Length 4:37
Label Decca Records/ABKCO
Songwriter(s) Jagger/Richards
Producer(s) Jimmy Miller
MENU
0:00

Gimme Shelter” is a song by the Rolling Stones. It first appeared as the opening track on the band’s 1969 album Let It Bleed. Although the first word was spelled “Gimmie” on that album, subsequent recordings by the band and other musicians have made “Gimme” the customary spelling. Greil Marcus, writing in Rolling Stone magazine at the time of its release, said of it, “The Stones have never done anything better.”[3]

The recording features Richards playing in his new open tuning on electric guitar. The recording also features vocals by Merry Clayton, recorded at a last-minute late-night recording session during the mixing phase, arranged by her friend and record producer Jack Nitzsche.[4] Lisa Fischer was later recruited to perform the song during their concerts.

Inspiration and recording[edit]

“Gimme Shelter” was written by the Rolling Stones’ lead vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, the band’s primary songwriting team. Richards began working on the song’s signature opening riff in London whilst Jagger was away filming Performance. As released, the song begins with Richards performing a guitar intro, soon joined by Jagger’s lead vocal. Of Let It Bleed’s bleak world view, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone magazine:

Well, it’s a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War. Violence on the screens, pillage and burning. And Vietnam was not war as we knew it in the conventional sense. The thing about Vietnam was that it wasn’t like World War II, and it wasn’t like Korea, and it wasn’t like the Gulf War. It was a real nasty war, and people didn’t like it. People objected, and people didn’t want to fight it … That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It’s apocalypse; the whole record’s like that.[5]

Similarly, on NPR in 2012:

It was a very moody piece about the world closing in on you a bit … When it was recorded, early ’69 or something, it was a time of war and tension, so that’s reflected in this tune. It’s still wheeled out when big storms happen, as they did the other week [during Hurricane Sandy]. It’s been used a lot to evoke natural disaster.[6]

After the first verse, guest vocalist Merry Clayton enters and shares the next three verses. A harmonica solo by Jagger and guitar solo by Richards follow, then with great energy, Clayton repeatedly sings “Rape, murder! It’s just a shot away! It’s just a shot away!”, almost screaming the final stanza. She and Jagger then repeat the line “It’s just a shot away” and finish with repeats of “It’s just a kiss away.” (Of her inclusion, Jagger said in the 2003 book According to the Rolling Stones: “The use of the female voice was the producer’s idea. It would be one of those moments along the lines of ‘I hear a girl on this track – get one on the phone.'” ) Summoned—pregnant—from bed around midnight by the producer Jack Nitzsche, Clayton made her recording with just a few takes then returned home to bed.[4] It remains the most prominent contribution to a Rolling Stones track by a female vocalist.[7]

At about 2:59 into the song, Clayton’s voice cracks under the strain; once during the second refrain on the word “shot”, then on the word “murder” during the third refrain, after which Jagger is faintly heard exclaiming “Woo!” in response to Clayton’s powerful delivery. Upon returning home she suffered a miscarriage, attributed by some sources to her exertions during the recording.[8] Merry Clayton’s name was erroneously written on the original release, appearing as ‘Mary’. Her name is also listed as ‘Mary’ on the 2002 Let It Bleed remastered CD.

The song was first recorded in London at Olympic Studios in February and March 1969; the version with Clayton was recorded in Los Angeles at Sunset Sound Recorders and Elektra Studios in October and November of that same year. Nicky Hopkins played piano, the Rolling Stones’ producer Jimmy Miller played percussion, Charlie Watts played drums, Bill Wyman played bass, Jagger played harmonica and sang backup vocals with Richards and Clayton. Guitarist Brian Jones was present during the early sessions but did not contribute, Richards being credited with both rhythm and lead guitars on the album sleeve.

Releases on compilation albums and live recordings[edit]

“Gimme Shelter” quickly became a staple of the Rolling Stones’ live shows. It was first performed sporadically during their 1969 American Tour and became a regular addition to their setlist during the 1972 American Tour. Concert versions appear on the Stones’ albums No Security (recorded 1997, released 1998), Live Licks (recorded 2003, released 2004), Brussels Affair (recorded 1973, released 2011), and Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live (2013). A May 1995 performance recorded at Paradiso (Amsterdam) was released on the 1996 “Wild Horses” (live) single and again on Totally Stripped (2016).

The song appears in the 2010 official DVD release of the 1972 Rolling Stones tour film, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones. It is also featured on Bridges to Babylon Tour ’97–98 (1998), Four Flicks (2003), The Biggest Bang (2007), and Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live (2013).

The female contributor to the song live is Lisa Fischer, the only woman to appear in all their tours since 1989.

In their 2012 50th anniversary tour, the Rolling Stones sang this song with Mary J. Blige, Florence Welch and Lady Gaga.

“Gimme Shelter” was never released as a single. Nevertheless, it has been included on many compilation releases, including Gimme Shelter, Hot Rocks 1964–1971, Forty Licks and GRRR!.

Music video[edit]

Michel Gondry, an Academy Award-winning French filmmaker, directed a music video for the song, which was released in 1998. The video features a sixteen-year old Brad Renfro, playing a young man escaping with his brother from a dysfunctional home and the abuse they suffered at the hands of their abusive alcoholic father, and then from society as a whole.[9]

Personnel[edit]

Accolades[edit]

“Gimme Shelter” was placed at number 38 on Rolling Stones list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2004. Pitchfork Media placed it at number 12 on its list of “The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s”.[10] Ultimate Classic Rock put the song at number one on their Top 100 Rolling Stones songs [11] and number three on their Top 100 Classic Rock Songs [12]

In popular culture[edit]

The 1970 documentary film Gimme Shelter, directed by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, chronicling the last weeks of the Stones’ 1969 US tour and culminating in the disastrous Altamont Free Concert, took its name from the song. A live version of the song played over the credits.

The song was used in the TV movie Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987).

The song was played in a commercial for the American Red Cross‘ “Play Your Part” public service advertising campaign in 1989. This particular commercial featured popular music artists such as Carly Simon, Branford Marsalis, and Randy Travis providing service in an effort to attract more young people to serve.[13]

Martin Scorsese has used the song as a theme in his crime films Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), and The Departed (2006), though not in his documentary Shine a Light (2008) about the Stones.

It was also used in the films Adventures in Babysitting (1987), Air America (1990), Wild Palms (1993), The War (1994), The Fan (1996), Layer Cake (2004), and in both Flight (2012) and its trailer.

The song was used in a commercial for the game Call of Duty: Black Ops and during the closing moments of the second season of Entourage.

The song was used on The Simpsons episode “Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays“, in a scene parodying Woodstock.

The song was used in the fifth episode in the second season of Showtime series Dexter.

The song was used in the closing scene of the series finale of Showtime’s series Masters of Sex.

The song was used in season 4/episode 5 (“Dawn Budge”) of the FX television series Nip/Tuck, which aired on October 3, 2006. It begins during the final scene of the episode and continues over the closing credits.

The song is used in the Life series, episode 10, season 1 (season finale) in 2007.

The song was also used in a Heineken beer commercial featuring Brad Pitt in 2008.

Gimme Shelter is also the title of a 2013 drama film, starring Vanessa Hudgens.

It is used at the end of Person of Interest, season 2, episode 10, 13 December 2012, titled “Shadow Box” as Reese, and three other men in suits, are arrested by the FBI. The episode’s plot line concerns an effort by a disabled veteran to steal and return money stolen from other veterans.

The song was used in a February 2013 episode of The Daily Show spoofing the Scorsese uses of the song in a news segment by Jason Jones “exposing” the underground maple syrup criminal organization in Quebec, Canada.[14]

In June, 2013, Hockey Night in Canada used the song as a part of the closing montage for the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.[15]

The story of Merry Clayton’s contribution to the song is discussed in the documentary film, 20 Feet from Stardom.

During 2014, it was used on the Universal Channel UK promos for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

The song was used in the 10th episode of the 2nd season of Covert Affairs.

The song was used for ABC‘s coverage of the 2014 Indianapolis 500.

The song was used in the trailer for the 2014 Rupert Wyatt film The Gambler.[16]

According to WatchMojo.com, the song is ranked 9 among the “Top 10 Overused Songs In Movies And TV”.[17]

In 2016, the song appeared in the 20th episode of season 11 of the United States television series Supernatural entitled Don’t Call Me Shurley.

Cover versions[edit]

“Putting Our House in Order” project[edit]

In 1993, a Food Records project collected various versions of the track by the following bands and collaborations, the proceeds of which went to the Shelter charity’s “Putting Our House in Order” homeless initiative. The versions were issued across various formats, and had a live version of the song by the Rolling Stones as a common lead track to ensure chart eligibility.

“Gimme Shelter” (pop version – cassette single)

“Gimme Shelter” (alternative version – CD single)

“Gimme Shelter” (rock version – CD single)

“Gimme Shelter” (dance version – 12″ single)

See also[edit]

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis A. Schaeffer  wrote something about the ROLLING STONES:
At about the same time as the Berkeley Free Speech Move- 
ment came a heavy participation in drugs. The beats had not 
been deeply into drugs the way the hippies were. But soon 
after 1964 the drug scene became the hallmark of young 
people.
The philosophic basis for the drug scene came from Aldous 
Huxley's concept that, since, for the rationalist, reason is not 
taking us anywhere, we should look for a final experience, one 
that can be produced "on call," one that we do not need to 
wait for. The drug scene, in other words, was at first an ideol- 
ogy, an ideology that had very practical consequences. Some of 
us at L'Abri have cried over the young people who have blown 
their minds. But many of them thought, like Alan Watts, Gary 
Snyder, Alan Ginsberg and Timothy Leary, that if you could 
simply turn everyone on, there would be an answer to man's 
longings. It wasn't just the far-out freaks who suggested that 
you could put drugs in the drinking water and turn on a whole 
city so that the "pigs" and the kids would all have flowers in 
their hair. In those days it really was an optimistic ideological 
concept. 

So two things have to be said here. FIRST, the young people's 
analysis of culture was right, and, SECOND, they really thought 
they had an answer to the problem. Up through Woodstock 
(1969) the YOUNG PEOPLE WERE OPTIMISTIC CONCERNING DRUGS-- 
BEING THE IDEOLOGICAL ANSWER. The desire for community and 
togetherness that was the impetus for Woodstock was not wrong, of course. God has made us in his own image, and he 
means for us to be in a strong horizontal relationship with each 
other. While Christianity appeals and applies to the individual, 
it is not individualistic. God means for us to have community. 
There are really two orthodoxies: an orthodoxy of doctrine 
and an orthodoxy of community, and both go together. So the 
longing for community in Woodstock was right. But the path 
was wrong. 

AFTER WOODSTOCK TWO EVENTS "ENDED THE AGE OF INNOCENCE," 
to use the expression of Rolling Stone magazine. The FIRST 
occurred at Altamont, California, where the ROLLING STONES put 
on a festival and hired the Hell's Angels (for several barrels of 
beer) to police the grounds. Instead, the Hell's Angels killed 
people without any cause, and it was a bad scene indeed. But 
people thought maybe this was a fluke, maybe it was just 
California! IT TOOK A SECOND EVENT TO BE CONVINCING. 

On the Isle of Wight, 450,000 people assembled, and it was 
totally ugly. A number of people from L'Abri were there, and I 
know a man closely associated with the rock world who knows 
the organizer of this festival. Everyone agrees that the situation 
was just plain hideous. 

THUS, AFTER THESE TWO ROCK FESTIVALS THE PICTURE CHANGED. IT IS  
NOT THAT KIDS HAVE STOPPED TAKING DRUGS, FOR MORE ARE TAKING  
DRUGS ALL THE TIME. And what the eventual outcome will be is 
certainly unpredictable. I know that in many places, California 
for example, drugs are down through the high schools and on 
into the heads of ten- and eleven-year-olds. But drugs are not 
considered a philosophic expression anymore; among the very 
young they are just a peer group thing. It's like permissive 
sexuality. You have to sleep with a certain number of boys or 
you're not in; you have to take a certain kind of drug or you're 
not in. THE OPTIMISTIC IDEOLOGY HAS DIED. 

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

1970 bombing took away righteous standing of Anti-War movement

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

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

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

___________

__

Featured artist is Martin Sharp:

Remembering the artist Martin Sharp – in collage

December 5, 2013 2.34pm EST

Garry Shead’s portrait of Martin Sharp shows the artist as he lived, orchestrating a magic theatre of people and objects. Felicity Jenkins/EPA

The tributes have been flowing in from friends and art critics for Martin Sharp, who died this week aged 71.

The common thread linking all the tributes, all the memories, is that the artist was never alone.

Sharp was instrumental in the creation of Oz magazine, the satirical magazine published in Sydney and London between 1963 and 1973; the Sydney gallery and artists’ space the Yellow House; the visual aesthetic of 1960s London; and much more.

He was, primarily, a collage artist – and a collaborator. Both his work and his life can be imagined as a kind of glorious living collage – of people, objects and art.

With that in mind, I’d like to present my collage of memories of Martin Sharp.

London – and Oz magazine

The cover of Oz magazine #12. AAP Image/Facebook

In Oz magazine, Martin Sharp and the two Richards – Walsh and Neville – turned undergraduate humour into colourful biting satire that critiqued the folly of their elders. Sharp’s distinctive graphic style was combined with an insistence that the publishers use the best quality art paper.

It is impossible to think of 1960s London in music, art and performance without seeing it as drawn by Sharp. He was responsible for Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan’s iconic record covers, creations embedded in the LSD and pot-fuelled days of London.

Sydney – and the Yellow House

Martin Sharp at the Yellow House: the gathering of friends – Albie Thoms, Peter Kingston, Bruce Goold, Richard Liney, Tim Lewis, George Gittoes, Nell Campbell (aka Little Nell) – photographed by Jon Lewis and Greg Weight.

Artwork by Martin Sharp helped define the psychedelic look of pop culture in London in the 1960s. AAP Image/Facebook

Sharp used friends and associates to create a space that still echoes through the years as an important powerhouses of creative energy.

Martin Sharp and Tiny Tim: Sharp’s fascination with the vaudeville singer was a transcendental moment that lasted a lifetime.

Martin Sharp and the ghost of Arthur Stace, the reformed alcoholic who spread the gospel by writing the word “Eternity” on Sydney pavements in chalk. Together they made enough copperplate Eternitys to fill a Sydney starry sky.

Then the mood changes.

Sharp and Luna Park: first for fun, when he created one of the version’s of the clown-face that formed the park’s entrance, and then for fight as he became an obsessive campaigner to call to account those whose negligence caused the death of a father and six children in the Ghost Train fire of 1979.

Sharp in his later years: passionate about the injustice meted out to Aboriginal people as he looked increasingly to the spiritual truths of Christianity, the sacrifice on the cross, and compassion for all those dispossessed.

SydneySights. Wikimedia Commons

A grand collaboration

Sharp was always at his most effective when he was a part of a grand collaboration, whether it was the intelligent anarchy of Oz, in both Sydney and London, his collaborations with musicians, or the grand vision of the Yellow House. Sharp was no solitary genius; he was at his best when with others of like mind.

Martin Sharp at a Sydney gallery in 2010. AAP Image/Facebook

For many years his home was his grandmother’s former home, Wirian, one of those grand 1920s mansions in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill. It was filled to excess with memories, memorabilia and friends.

Sharp collected people almost in the same way as he collected art, surrounding himself with them, watching as they interacted with each other – the famous, the colourful, the offbeat, the eccentric, the intensely spiritual.

His mother, Jo Sharp, was his first art teacher as she taught him how to make collage, cutting up images to place them in different contexts, relishing both a sense of the absurd and the beauty that came with unusual conjunctions.

His grandmother, who had a large collection of black and white graphic art, introduced him to Boofhead comics.

Van Gogh

Sharp’s art teacher at Cranbrook, Justin O’Brien, gave him a book on Van Gogh as an art prize. In his doctor father’s surgery there was reproduction of Van Gogh’s On the road to Tarascon, a painting destroyed in the second world war. The absence of its real presence made the many reproductions more poignant.

Vincent Van Gogh, Self-portrait on the road to Tarascon (1888). Wikipaintings

This is the image that guided Sharp, the one he reworked with variations throughout his life. It is telling that the name he gave the constant reworkings of this work was Courage, My Friend.

Van Gogh was always on his mind.

It was in London, while he was living in the Peasantry with Eric Clapton, filmmaker Philippe Mora and other artists and musicians, that he read Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo.

While acid freed his mind to make the images that are forever associated with the 1960s, the creative chaos of communal life acted as both a support and a stimulus.

When Sharp returned to Sydney it was not surprising he had something similar in mind.

At the Yellow House

Many people claim credit for creating the Yellow House, and in a perverse way they are all right. But without Sharp none of them could have created this house where artists could live and work together.

The Yellow House today. Sydney Heritage

It was Sharp who was able to persuade the owners of the old Terry Clune Galleries in Potts Point to let him have the last exhibition before it closed.

Then, as the building was doomed to be demolished for a high-rise apartment development, there was no harm in letting him and a few friends live there and make art.

Because the building was seen as ephemeral, Sharp was allowed to modify it to suit his needs.

By the time the Yellow House dissolved into chaos in about 1972, the developer may have regretted that decision.

The ever-shifting group of people who came and lived, loved, made art and performed at the Yellow House had little respect for real estate. A hole in the wall – covered in mock fur – made it easier to access. It was hard to work out who exactly made what, and some works had their ownership severely contested.

Peter Kingston‘s Stone Room had ceramics made to order by George Gittoesmother, while the Hokusai-inspired Wave was painted by either Martin Sharp or Brett Whiteley depending what day it was as they both tried to impose their vision on it.

In the end it was Sharp who prevailed with the Wave, and in reality with every other aspect of the Yellow House. The glory of the house is that the art, the people, the performances, were all part of a giant living collage.

Martin Sharp was the artist who placed them all together, to create ever-changing patterns of excitement and oddity.

And so he continued for the rest of his life, as a magician placing objects in opposition so that they may be seen with new eyes.

 




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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 182 “Nat Hentoff told JESSE JACKSON that he frequently quoted his pro-life writings because they were among the most compelling he had read…” (Featured artist is Patti Smith)

Jesse Jackson, Joan Baez, Ira Sandperl and Martin Luther King Jr.

Image result for Jesse L. Jackson martin luther king

 

Francis Schaeffer pictured in his film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

Image result for francis schaeffer

 

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

 

Image result for Jesse L. Jackson martin luther king

The Devaluing of Life in America

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Christian apologist Francis A. Schaeffer issue a stern warning concerning the devaluing of life in America. They quote Psychiatrist Leo Alexander, who served with the office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes in Nuremberg:

It started with the acceptance of the attitude basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived….   …. The first direct order for euthanasia was issued by Hitler on Sept. 1, 1939…. All state institutions were required to report on patients who had been ill for five years or more or who were unable to work, by filling out questionnaires giving name, race, marital status, nationality, next of kin, whether regularly visited and by whom, who bore the financial responsibility and so forth. The decision regarding which patients should be killed was made entirely on the basis of this brief information by expert consultants, most of whom were professors of psychiatry in the key universities. These consultants never saw the patients themselves.

The Nazis set up an organization specifically for the killing of children, which they called, “Realm’s Committee for Scientific Approach to Severe Illness Due to Heredity and Constitution.” Children were transported to the killing centers by “The Charitable Transport Company for the Sick.” “The Charitable Foundation for Institutional Care” collected the cost of killing the children from the relatives, who did not know that they were paying to kill their own kinfolk. The cause of death was falsified on the death certificates. [Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, M.D., Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1979), pp. 103-107].

 

It hasn’t been too far back in the history of the United States, that black people were sold like cattle in our slave markets. For economic reasons, white society had classified them as “nonhuman.” The U S Supreme Court upheld this lie in its infamous Dred Scott Decision.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking as Rev. Jesse Jackson listens on.

Image result for Jesse L. Jackson martin luther king

Jesse L. Jackson, in 1977, tied the prior treatment of blacks with our present treatment of the preborn:

You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside your right to be concerned…. The Constitution called us three-fifths human and the whites further dehumanized us by calling us `n@$%#rs.’ It was part of the dehumanizing process…. These advocates taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder, they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human…. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified…. What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have twenty years hence if life can be taken so casually? It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mind set with regard to the nature and the worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth. [Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, M.D., Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1979), p. 209.]

Twenty-five years after Rev. Jackson’s prediction, we have seen 45,000,000 preborn children killed for convenience and money. There is no telling how many newborns have been sedated and deliberately left to die of starvation.

For a former “insider” expose of the brutal and woman-exploiting abortion industry, read Carol Everett’s book, Blood Money (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Press Books, 1992). Her book tore at my heart. It spoke of how degenerate a part of the medical community had become. Carol Everett later found Christ and now ministers hope and healing.

The infamous pathologist Jack Kevorkian has grabbed headlines by murdering sick people. But, secretly in the hospitals, how many old and sick people have been “put to sleep” by other physicians simply by administering an overdose of medication, or by withholding needed medication?

I was touched, influenced and inspired by the ideas of Bill Bennett. See William J. Bennett, The De-Valuing of America—The Fight for Our Culture and Our Children (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992).

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Image result for Jesse L. Jackson martin luther king

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Nat Hentoff

Image result for Jesse L. Jackson nat hentoff

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

by 1 . 20 . 17

The death of Nat Hentoff a couple of weeks ago was movingly memorialized for First Things by William Doino. Hentoff was truly a remarkable individual with a sharp, consistent mind and a very broad range of friends and readers.

I first came across his work when I emigrated in 2001 and bought on a whim a remaindered copy of his autobiography, Speaking Freely. Little did I know that his love (and mine) of freedom of speech in the civic sphere would soon be jeopardized by those who fail to understand—or perhaps who understand just too well—that free speech means the right of my bitterest opponents to articulate their most reprehensible views in the public square. Hentoff was a man of the left, but he was also a libertarian on matters of freedom and an evangelist for the same. Indeed, his children’s novel, The Day They Came to Arrest the Book, became a staple in our house, with both of our boys reading it, loving it, and taking its message to heart.

There is one passage in Speaking Freely (177-78) that offers disturbing insights into modern political culture. Hentoff quotes a certain politician on abortion: “What happens to the soul of a nation that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of society will we have twenty years hence if life can be taken so casually?” He also quotes the same politician on the right to privacy: “There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of a higher order than the right of life. That was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside of your right to be concerned.” This politician had himself almost been aborted, and he saw the clear connection between the dehumanizing of a child in the womb and racial oppression, in that both involve a denial of real personhood to a human being.

Later on, this politician decided to run for president and magically changed his mind on abortion. His name? Jesse Jackson.

In his memoir, Hentoff recalls meeting Jackson on a train in 1994. As they journeyed together, Hentoff told Jackson that he frequently quoted his pro-life writings because they were among the most compelling he had read. Jackson, he said, looked troubled. Hentoff then asked the politician whether he had any second thoughts on his change of mind. Jackson looked even more troubled and said, “I’ll get back to you on that.” Hentoff ended the anecdote on this laconic note: “I haven’t heard from him since.”

Of course, Jackson had no arguments for his change. He changed, as Hentoff pointed out, when he wanted to run for president. He is the quintessential politician in an era of mass media and entertainment, where politicians’ views are too often shaped by the perceived direction of the popular wind. That is a tragedy, for opinion polls are more a means of shaping public opinion than of reflecting it. Have you noticed that they continue to be paraded by the media after Brexit and Trump? The media clings so very tightly to its manipulative ideological necromancy. And sadly, politicians today are too often the successors of the Jacksons, not the Hentoffs—selling their consciences to whatever and whoever they think will get them the necessary votes. We need politicians of conviction, not spineless puppets of popular taste.

The politicizing of the issue of abortion has done little more than trivialize human personhood. The career of Jesse Jackson is a great and pitiful example of this. As was, in an opposite way, the career of Nat Hentoff. He may have been an atheist, but he understood that human personhood is not a function of the ballot box, the focus group, or the latest opinion poll.

Carl R. Trueman is Paul Woolley Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Featured artist today is Patti Smith

Paul McCartney, Patti Smith , and Johnny Depp

Patti Smith discusses “Just Kids” at National Portrait Gallery

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E.O.F. Style Divinity: Patti Smith { Punk N’ Pretty}

patti smith with a crown of flowers

In art and dream may you proceed with abandon.

In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.

-Patti Smith

patti smith- yearbook photo

[photo courtesy:  Sexuality and Love in the Arts ]

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of browsing Patti Smith’s “Camera Solo” at the AGO, and really got an opportunity to get an inside glimpse of the one-of-a-kind artist and human being.

Her works are exhibited in a sparse open gallery with a few antique chairs for sitting, on top of an aptly bohemian rug you most definitely would find in her own living space, surrounded by her snapshots and polaroids, her letters, her drawings, and beloved objects from her past all come together to expose the tender romantic heart beneath that hard rock shell you might at first perceive her.

patti-smith-robert-mapplethorpe-homotography-2

There are photographs of her children, and of her idols (Frida Kahlo’s bed, Nureyev’s ballet shoe, Walt Whitman’s tomb, and of course her beloved Mapplethorpe, who understandably is a resonating force in her life and work), and they are displayed with the kind of simple black-and-white wisdom she must have come to understand over the course of her life.

Now 66 years old, her soul seems as vital and vibrant as ever. And while we will always remember her as the Punk Rock Queen, her “Camera Solo” really helps display her sense of bohemian elegance. The mix of old and new is obviously something of great interest to us here at The Eye of Faith, and Patti Smith does well to juxtapose her personal memories, the memories of others, and the present day, all in a peaceful vortex of still life serenity.

[photo courtesy: CBC]

There is the sense of a true individual, a libertinian quality, in everything showcased. The sum of the parts, are nothing without her own experience, and thereby no singular person could recreate the moments captured forever by Patti Smith in her writing, drawings, music, film, and photography. Indeed, she is quite the Renaissance woman, and so we thought it apropo to put together a collection of some of our favourite images of the Rebel Goddess, and hopefully ignite that same age old wisdom and passion Patti Smith inherently seems to possess.

And though she is known for her punk rock roots, it was great to see such a refined vision. There wasn’t that garbage, safety pin, and spray paint aesthetic some people immediately cling to when you say “PUNK”. If you think about it, it’s just a state of being that denies following the “norm”. Being “punk” says  you’re doing it your way. No apologies. That’s where her divine sensibility sets in for us.

So as you look through these photos, just let it take over. You don’t have to be right all the time. Just feel it, and let it just be.

patti smith- vintage photograph- high school

[photo courtesy:  Sexuality and Love in the Arts ]

Artist are traditionally resistant to labels.

-Patti Smith

Patti Smith’s “Camera Solo” is running through until May 19 at theAGO, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to spy through the window of a true punk rock soul.

Also check out her official website for concerts and other details. 

patti smith- class clown -yearbook vintage

[photo courtesy:  Sexuality and Love in the Arts ]

To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It’s freedom.

Patti Smith Group – Because the night 1978

Uploaded on Apr 27, 2008

Take me now baby here as I am
Hold me close, try and understand
Desire is hunger is the fire I breathe
Love is a banquet on which we feed

Come on now try and understand
The way I feel when I’m in your hands
Take my hand come undercover
They can’t hurt you now,
Can’t hurt you now, can’t hurt you now
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to lust
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us

Have I doubt when I’m alone
Love is a ring, the telephone
Love is an angel disguised as lust
Here in our bed until the morning comes
Come on now try and understand
The way I feel under your command
Take my hand as the sun descends
They can’t touch you now,
Can’t touch you now, can’t touch you now
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to lust
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us

With love we sleep
With doubt the vicious circle
Turns and burns
Without you I cannot live
Forgive, the yearning burning
I believe it’s time, too real to feel
So touch me now, touch me now, touch me now
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to lust
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us

Because tonight there are two lovers
If we believe in the night we trust
Because tonight there are two lovers
Because the night belongs to lust
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us

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________________

Patti Smith – Under Review – Part 1

Patti Smith – Under Review – Part 2

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Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, Antony Hegarty, Lou Reed, Patti Smith. ©2011 Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, courtesy of Yoko Ono.

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Patti Smith Under Review – Part 3

Self-Portrait — Patti Smith

02-PattiSmith_SelfPortrait

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Patti Smith – Under Review – Part 4

Patti Smith with John Belushi

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Patti Smith Under Review – Part 5

Patti Smith Biography

Poet, Songwriter (1946–)

Patti Smith is a highly influential figure in the New York City punk rock scene, starting with her 1975 album Horses. Her biggest hit is the single “Because the Night.”

Synopsis

Born on December 30, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois, Patti Smith is a singer, writer and artist who became a highly influential figure in the New York City punk rock scene. After working on a factory assembly line, she began performing spoken word and later formed the Patti Smith Group (1974-79). Her most famous album is Horses. Her relationship with Fred “Sonic” Smith caused a hiatus in her singing career, but she returned to music after his untimely death. She went on to release more than 10 albums.

Early Life

Singer, songwriter and poet Patricia Lee Smith was born on December 30, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois. She was the eldest of four children born to Beverly Smith, a jazz singer turned waitress, and Grant Smith, a machinist at a Honeywell plant. After spending the first four years of her life on the south side of Chicago, Smith’s family moved to Philadelphia in 1950 and then to Woodbury, New Jersey, in 1956, when she was 9 years old.

A tall, gangly and sickly child with a lazy left eye, Smith’s outward appearance and shy demeanor gave no hint of the groundbreaking rock star she would become. However, Smith says she always knew that she was destined for greatness. “When I was a little kid, I always knew that I had some special kind of thing inside me,” she remembered. “I mean, I wasn’t attractive, I wasn’t very verbal, I wasn’t very smart in school. I wasn’t anything that showed the world I was something special, but I had this tremendous hope all the time. I had this tremendous spirit that kept me going… I was a happy child, because I had this feeling that I was going to go beyond my body physical… I just knew it.”

As a child, Smith also experienced gender confusion. Described as a tomboy, she shunned “girly” activities and instead preferred roughhousing with her predominantly male friends. Her tall, lean and somewhat masculine body defied the images of femininity she saw around her. It was not until a high school art teacher showed her depictions of women by some of the world’s great artists that she came to terms with her own body.

“Art totally freed me,” Smith recalled. “I found Modigliani, I discovered Picasso’s blue period, and I thought, ‘Look at this, these are great masters, and the women are all built like I am.’ I started ripping pictures out of the books and taking them home to pose in front of the mirror.”

Smith attended Deptford High School, a racially integrated high school, where she recalls both befriending and dating her black classmates. While in high school, Smith also developed an intense interest in music and performance. She fell in love with the music of John Coltrane, Little Richard and the Rolling Stones and performed in many of the school’s plays and musicals.

Upon graduating from high school in 1964, Smith took a job working at a toy factory—a short-lived but terrible experience that Smith described in her first single, “Piss Factory.” Later that fall, she enrolled at Glassboro State Teachers College—now known as Rowan University—with the intention of becoming a high school art teacher, but she didn’t fare well academically and her insistence on discarding traditional curricula to focus exclusively on experimental and obscure artists did not sit well with school administrators. So in 1967, with vague aspirations of becoming an artist, Smith moved to New York City and took a job working at a Manhattan bookstore.

Lyrical Expression

Smith took up with a young photographer named Robert Mapplethorpe, and although their romantic involvement ended when he discovered his homosexuality, Smith and Mapplethorpe maintained a close friendship and artistic partnership for many years to come.

Choosing performance poetry as her favored artistic medium, Smith gave her first public reading on February 10, 1971, at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery. The now legendary reading, with guitar accompaniment from Lenny Kaye, introduced Smith as an up-and-coming figure in the New York arts circle. Later the same year, she further raised her profile by co-authoring and co-starring with Sam Shepard in his semiautobiographical play Cowboy Mouth.

Over the next several years, Smith dedicated herself to writing. In 1972, she published her first book of poetry, Seventh Heaven, earning flattering reviews but selling few copies. Two further collections, Early Morning Dream (1972) and Witt (1973), received similarly high praise. At the same time, Smith also wrote music journalism for magazines such as Creem and Rolling Stone.

The Birth of Punk Rock

Smith, who had experimented earlier with setting her poetry to music, began to more fully explore rock ‘n’ roll as an outlet for her lyric poetry. In 1974, she formed a band and recorded the single “Piss Factory,” now widely considered the first true “punk” song, which garnered her a sizeable and fanatical grassroots following. The next year, after Bob Dylan leant her mainstream credibility by attending one of her concerts, Smith landed a record deal with Arista Records.

Smith’s 1975 debut album, Horses, featuring the iconic singles “Gloria” and “Land of a Thousand Dances,” was a huge commercial and critical success for its manic energy, heartfelt lyrics and skillful wordplay. The definitive early punk rock album, Horses is a near-ubiquitous inclusion on lists of the best albums of all time.

Commercial Success

Re-billing her act as the Patti Smith Group to give due credit to her band—Lenny Kaye (guitar), Ivan Kral (bass), Jay Dee Daugherty (drums) and Richard Sohl (piano)—Smith released her second album, Radio Ethiopia, in 1976. The Patti Smith Group then achieved a commercial breakthrough with its third album, Easter (1978), propelled by the hit single “Because the Night,” co-written by Smith and Bruce Springsteen.

Seclusion and Domestic Life

Smith’s fourth album, 1979’s Wave, received only lukewarm reviews and modest sales. By the time she released Wave, Smith had fallen deeply in love with MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, and the pair married in 1980. For the next 17 years, Smith largely disappeared from the public scene, devoting herself to domestic life and raising the couple’s two children. She released only one album during this time, 1988’s Dream of Life, a collaboration with her husband. The album was a commercial disappointment despite including one of Smith’s most iconic singles, “People Have the Power.”

Comeback and Legacy

When Fred “Sonic” Smith died of a heart attack in 1994—the last in a series of many close friends and collaborators of Smith’s who passed away in quick succession—it finally provided Patti Smith the impetus to revive her music career. She achieved a triumphant return with her 1996 comeback album Gone Again, featuring the singles “Summer Cannibals” and “Wicked Messenger.”

Since then, Smith has remained a prominent fixture of the rock music scene with her albums Peace and Noise (1997), Gung Ho (2000) and Trampin’(2004), all of which were highly praised by music critics, proving Smith’s ability to reshape her music to speak to a new generation of rock fans. Her 2007 album, Twelve, featured Smith’s take on a dozen rock classics including “Gimme Shelter,” “Changing of the Guards” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Smith followed with the critically acclaimed Banga (2012), proving that after 35 years of music and 11 albums, she is ever evolving.

One of the pioneers of punk rock music, a trailblazer who redefined the role of female rock stars, a poet who unleashed her lyrical talent over powerful guitars, Patti Smith stands out as one of the greatest figures in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. After four decades, Smith finds her continued motivation to write and make music in the unfairly shortened lives of her loved ones and the needs of her children.

“The people I lost all believed in me and my children needed me, so that’s a lot of reasons to continue, let alone that life is great,” she says. “It’s difficult but it’s great and every day some new, wonderful thing is revealed. Whether it’s a new book, or the sky is beautiful, or another full moon, or you meet a new friend—life is interesting.”

Just Kids

In 2010, Patti Smith published her acclaimed memoir Just Kids, which gives readers a personal glimpse into her prototypical “starving artist” youth and her close relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe during the late 1960s and 1970s in New York City. The work became a NY Times bestseller and received a National Book Award. In 2015, Showtime Networks announced it would be developing a limited series based on the book.

Patti Smith – Because Part 1

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Patti Smith with the Pope

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Patti Smith interviewed by Tom Snyder

Another drawing below:

unbazarberlinois: Self portrait, Patti Smith

unbazarberlinois:

Self portrait, Patti Smith

Conversation: Patti Smith

Neil Young and Patti Smith

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Premiere Date: December 30, 2009

Patti Smith on Art

Patti Smith talks to music writer Anthony DeCurtis about how she became an artist, what happens when she performs on stage, her relationships to the dead and her artistic process.

Anthony DeCurtis: One of the really interesting things about the film is that it’s very much a portrait of an artist. You’re talking about and engaging with William Blake and Jackson Pollock and Arthur Rimbaud. It made me think of the quote that’s on the back of your album Radio Ethiopia, “Beauty will be convulsive or not at all,” and reminded me of the tradition of artists that you’re drawn to. Could you talk about the first time you read Blake, the first time you read Rimbaud, the first time you looked at a Pollock painting? What did you draw from those experiences, and how did you use those experiences?

Patti Smith: Patti on the stairs

Patti upon the stairs. Chelsea Hotel, New York, 1996. Photographer by Steven Sebring.

Patti Smith: I remember all of those experiences, actually. I was an avid reader as a child, and my mother gave me a copy of “Songs of Innocence” by Blake, so that was my entrance into Blake. The first time I saw art was when my father took us on a trip when I was 12. My father worked in a factory, he had four sickly children, my parents had a lot of money problems and we didn’t go on excursions often. But there was a Salvador Dali show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that included the painting “The Persistence of Memory,” and my father found Dali’s draftsmanship just astounding, so he wanted to see the show in person. So he dragged us all to the museum. I had never seen art in person before. And seeing paintings – seeing work by Picasso, John Singer Sargent – I was completely smitten, I totally fell in love with Picasso and I dreamed of being a painter.

All of these things, every time I’ve seen art that I’ve responded to, what I’m responding to is that moment of creative impulse – and that’s something Steven and I have always worked with. The moment of creative impulse is what an artist gives you. You look at a Pollock, and it can’t give you the tools to do a painting like that yourself, but in doing the work, Pollock shares with you the moment of creative impulse that drove him to do that work. And that continuous exchange — whether it’s with a rock and roll song where you’re communing with Bo Diddley or Little Richard, or it’s with a painting, where you’re communing with Rembrandt or Pollock — is a great thing.

We long for those moments, and it was so nice to work with Steven on this film because we could look for those moments within ourselves; he was interested in everything I was interested in. If I wanted to drag him to a graveyard in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of London traffic, to say hello to William Blake’s grave, he was right there. It was fun and it was also beautiful for the spirit. We both wanted to share this with other people. A lot of people might love William Blake but never get to go visit his grave. So we wanted to take them with us.

DeCurtis: We also see you with your children, and we see your very warm relationship with your parents in Patti Smith: Dream of Life. Can you talk about your relationship to them and about your family life?

Smith: I love my family. My parents struggled very hard; they had three kids in quick succession right after World War II, and we were all sickly. My dad worked in a factory; my mom was a waitress. They had a lot of strife. My father was a dreamy fellow – he read Plato and Socrates and watched Phillies games. My mother was the real worker, and she did everything for us. She always made any situation a happier situation. If there was no food except for potatoes in the house, she would make a mountain of French fries and say, “We’re going to have a French fry party!” We’d say, “Yay,” and sit around eating French fries, not realizing that it was hard for her because she was the mother of four children who had nothing else to give her kids to eat. She made it exciting and fun.

Patti Smith: Patti and her parents

Patti with her parents, Beverly and Grant Smith

I have great respect for my parents. I got such beautiful things from both of them. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t have our rough times, but they were remarkable people who were open-minded, creative and hard-working and had great senses of humor. They set really good examples for all of us. I love my family, and I know it’s not normal, because when I came to New York, everybody thought I was crazy when I would tell tales of my childhood and of my mom and dad. I was seen as abnormal because I loved my family. But I did love my family. They were great people.

DeCurtis: You mentioned coming to New York City. What were your impressions of New York when you came here?

Smith: I was raised in rural south Jersey, and there was no culture there. There was a small library and that was it. There was nothing else. I loved my childhood, I loved my siblings, I loved being a child, but I craved culture. Once I saw art I wanted to see more art. I fell in love with opera and I dreamed about going to the opera. But there was nothing in New Jersey, and the first time I went to New York City, I was in total heaven.

I had been made fun of a lot growing up, because I was a skinny kid with long greasy braids who dressed like a beatnik. I didn’t really fit in where I grew up; I didn’t look like the other girls – I didn’t have a beehive. And in New York, suddenly I just blended in with everybody else. Nobody cared. I didn’t get stopped by the cops. I wasn’t yelled at from cars. I was just free. And I think that’s what New York represented to me more than anything – freedom.

DeCurtis: Getting back to your family, and we see you a lot with your family in this film, publicly you’re an important musician and poet and artist. Could you talk about the two sides of you – a public identity that’s out in the world and the day-to-day, family aspect of your life?

Patti Smith: A portrait of Patti, turquoise background

Patti in private studio session at Sebring Studio. New York, 1999. Photographer by Steven Sebring.

Smith: Well, I don’t have two separate personas. When I’m onstage and working, I channel different things, including aspects of aggression or anger or political fervor that I keep more balanced offstage. But I’m not really that different offstage from how I am onstage, and I’ve never really been interested in being a celebrity. I just want to be able to do my work and converse with the people. And I don’t like a lot of fuss. So I’ve pretty much always stayed the same.

At home, I was a mom. My kids didn’t even know I did anything, except tend to them. Even now – and they comprehend my work, they’ve worked with me, they’ve all performed with me in front of thousands of people – they still look at me as their mom, the person who’s going to sew a button, tend to them if they’re sick or remember their father with them. I don’t have a separate identity at home with my kids, and I don’t want one.

DeCurtis: There are a few times when you talk about death in the film. You talk about your brother having died and you being infused by his spirit, in a sense. And you also mention Allen Ginsberg’s call to you when your husband died, Allen saying, “Continue the celebration.” Death is obviously a terrible thing, but you seem, somehow, to have found a way to take something from it and make the dead part of your ongoing life and work. Can you talk a little about that?

Smith: I’ve had to find a way to take something from death. I experienced death as a child: My best friend died of leukemia when I was about seven or eight. I learned early that we lose people. Then, going through the death of Robert Mapplethorpe was so devastating and difficult. Our friendship was so deep, and his consciousness was so intertwined with mine because we bonded so young, that I knew he would still be with me when he died. And he was with me, even more, it seemed, once he died. That taught me a lot. It didn’t make things less painful for me, in terms of the people I lost after Robert, but it proved to me that our people are still with us if we keep our minds, ears and hearts open. It’s nothing mystical; it just is.

Patti Smith: Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe

A young Patti Smith with Robert Mapplethorpe.

I’ve learned from Robert since he died, argued with him, walked quietly and seen him sitting. Each person that passes away passes away differently, and your communication with them is different. With my brother, as I said in the film, it’s a feeling of love. Sometimes I’ll be sitting somewhere and I start laughing. I can’t even talk about him without laughing. He makes me laugh; he makes me smile. And each loss, whether it’s my husband or my parents, presents me with an unexpected, unique and different way to communicate with the dead as I go through life. There’s a certain beauty in that. It doesn’t take away the sorrow or the longing to see a person in his or her earthly state, but if we lose that possibility – the possibility of a person in his or her earthly state – there is still a multitude of other possibilities. Pasolini said that it is not that the dead do not speak, it’s just that we have forgotten how to listen. And that made a lot of sense to me. We have to just let go of our expectations and see how they talk to us. Each person we lose will speak to us, but in a different way. Sometimes it’s a flutter of feeling and sometimes they’ll bug you.

DeCurtis: I also wanted to ask you about performing, and the transformation that takes places within you when you’re onstage.

Smith: Well, I curse more onstage than I do in real life. Even my kids are like, “Mom, what are you doing?” But it’s just adrenaline, really. I’m a natural performer. I like being in front of people; I like working with people; I like making them laugh; I like inciting their spirits or minds. But I was always like that – I was like that as a kid. I led my siblings into battle and I wrote plays for us to perform. When I was younger, I thought of being a schoolteacher so I would have a ready audience every day. And I have no fear on the stage – it’s friendly territory for me. I fear a dinner party with strangers a hundred times more than getting on a stage in front of 70,000 people. I like communicating with the people. I like channeling their energy and giving it back to them.

During this transitional time in which I began performing again after a long time away from it, which Steven rode out with me, it didn’t take me that long to get my footing. It was more a matter of transitioning through other things, where I had to find my balance as a human being. But the people were so great. They were happy that we were back.

DeCurtis: I remember going to a reading that you did in Central Park in the early 1990s.

Smith: That was the first time I had appeared in New York City in 14 years or something like that. And [my husband] Fred and my brother were both still alive. It was 102 degrees or something like that in New York City, and I was so nervous, I was afraid the whole time we were driving up to New York. I didn’t know if anybody would come or if they would remember me. And Fred was saying, “Oh, they’ll be there,” and my brother was saying “Don’t worry, there’ll be lots of people.” And there were. There were lots of people! There was a moment when I was standing onstage and all of a sudden I froze. I think I was trying to recite “People Have the Power.” I froze, and in the corner of my eye I could see both my brother and my husband advance just a little toward me. They could feel me being frightened. I saw them coming toward me and I took a breath and pulled myself together. I was really surprised that all those people came. It was really great.

DeCurtis: The level of intensity there was so powerful.

Smith: It was just a poetry reading, and it was so exciting.

DeCurtis: Everybody came, and they were all almost transformed by being there.

Patti Smith: Patti on stage, tinted red

Patti in concert. London, 2005. Photographed by Steven Sebring.

Smith: Yeah, it was really like a gathering of the tribe, that’s one thing I remember. I saw people out there that I hadn’t seen in over a decade, and people were there seeing one another. It was a beautiful moment. But that’s one of the great things about performing, and one reason to stay healthy and stay in communication with the people, because performing is a continual gathering of the tribe. The tribe does shift. We’ll have performances where I look out and everyone is younger than my daughter. And I think, what a compliment, you know that the new young tribe would come to see what we’re doing and give us some energy. I feel it’s our duty to take this energy that they give us, transform it and give it back to them.

Performing is a beautiful thing. The way I look at it, it’s not playing or singing at people; it’s creating a night and an experience with them. And it’s what keeps me going actually. I never thought I’d still be performing at 63, but it still comes, and I’ll be there.

DeCurtis: Patti, can you talk about yourself as an artist? Not just being a songwriter or a singer, but the romantic sense that if you’re an artist, you bring an artist’s eye to everything that you do.

Smith: Absolutely, I believe that. And I learned that through other artists. As a very young girl, I learned that William Blake painted, wrote songs, was an activist, wrote these poems, had a philosophy and was a visionary. Leonardo da Vinci was a scientist and an artist. Lewis Carroll was a photographer, a writer and a poet. I was very comfortable with this idea at an early age. I find the people who are uncomfortable with this idea are often journalists. They think that if you sing rock and roll you must be an idiot, and that you can’t possibly be a scholar, or write a book about jazz or paint with any depth. For me, I’m a worker, and I do everything with the same conviction, whether I’m taking photographs or performing or painting or writing. I’m the same person.

In the same vein, if you’re doing a performance for four or five people, you do it with the same conviction as when you go on stage and there are 40,000 people. You don’t do things by degrees. If one has a vision, then one brings that vision into everything they do. Robert Mapplethorpe worked like that, in constructions, in the way he dressed – everything was art for Robert. Waiting for Robert to get dressed was such a nightmare because he would work on his outfit with the same fervor as he did on a collage or a construction. Of course, I’m just joking, but there is a certain amount of truth in saying that people don’t put away their aesthetic awareness as they jump from ship to ship.

On the other hand, I admire people who have one vocation. Joan Mitchell said, “I’m a painter. That’s all I do. That’s all I know how to do.” When I heard that, I wished I were like that, that I had one vocation and put everything in. But I just didn’t turn out that way. It’s not the way that I am. I would be lying or I would have to submerge other aspects of myself to be like that. But I think it’s a beautiful thing. It’s just that I’m just not like that.

DeCurtis: I asked Steven what he learned from you. What did you learn from working with him?

Smith: Working with Steven, especially at the time that I met him, did so much to strengthen my confidence that things can be done. It transformed me. He’s unbelievable. He does these things on such a scale. To watch him get an idea was amazing. He looked at my things. He took pictures of them on a light box, and the next thing you know he blew them up and had these frames made and they wound up in the film. As modest as he is, he’s quite fearless; with seemingly not many resources, he saw this project through. And that actually has been one of my shortcomings. I leave a lot of poems abandoned, songs abandoned, paintings abandoned. Steven finishes things. Seeing this film go from the first moment, over 10 or 12 years, and then seeing it finished makes me realize really anything is possible. So that was a very important lesson.

 

William S. Burroughs with Patti Smith

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Patti Smith with Allen Ginsberg below

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 181 Leo Alexander quote, “The first direct order for euthanasia was issued by Hitler on Sept. 1, 1939…” (Featured artist is Ray Johnson)

Francis Schaeffer pictured in his film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

 

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The Devaluing of Life in America

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Christian apologist Francis A. Schaeffer issue a stern warning concerning the devaluing of life in America. They quote Psychiatrist Leo Alexander, who served with the office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes in Nuremberg:

It started with the acceptance of the attitude basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived….   …. The first direct order for euthanasia was issued by Hitler on Sept. 1, 1939…. All state institutions were required to report on patients who had been ill for five years or more or who were unable to work, by filling out questionnaires giving name, race, marital status, nationality, next of kin, whether regularly visited and by whom, who bore the financial responsibility and so forth. The decision regarding which patients should be killed was made entirely on the basis of this brief information by expert consultants, most of whom were professors of psychiatry in the key universities. These consultants never saw the patients themselves.

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The Nazis set up an organization specifically for the killing of children, which they called, “Realm’s Committee for Scientific Approach to Severe Illness Due to Heredity and Constitution.” Children were transported to the killing centers by “The Charitable Transport Company for the Sick.” “The Charitable Foundation for Institutional Care” collected the cost of killing the children from the relatives, who did not know that they were paying to kill their own kinfolk. The cause of death was falsified on the death certificates. [Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, M.D., Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1979), pp. 103-107].

Defence Counsel

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It hasn’t been too far back in the history of the United States, that black people were sold like cattle in our slave markets. For economic reasons, white society had classified them as “nonhuman.” The U S Supreme Court upheld this lie in its infamous Dred Scott Decision.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking as Rev. Jesse Jackson listens on.

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Jesse L. Jackson, in 1977, tied the prior treatment of blacks with our present treatment of the preborn:

You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside your right to be concerned…. The Constitution called us three-fifths human and the whites further dehumanized us by calling us `n@$%#rs.’ It was part of the dehumanizing process…. These advocates taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder, they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human…. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified…. What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have twenty years hence if life can be taken so casually? It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mind set with regard to the nature and the worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth. [Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, M.D., Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1979), p. 209.]

Twenty-five years after Rev. Jackson’s prediction, we have seen 45,000,000 preborn children killed for convenience and money. There is no telling how many newborns have been sedated and deliberately left to die of starvation.

For a former “insider” expose of the brutal and woman-exploiting abortion industry, read Carol Everett’s book, Blood Money (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Press Books, 1992). Her book tore at my heart. It spoke of how degenerate a part of the medical community had become. Carol Everett later found Christ and now ministers hope and healing.

The infamous pathologist Jack Kevorkian has grabbed headlines by murdering sick people. But, secretly in the hospitals, how many old and sick people have been “put to sleep” by other physicians simply by administering an overdose of medication, or by withholding needed medication?

I was touched, influenced and inspired by the ideas of Bill Bennett. See William J. Bennett, The De-Valuing of America—The Fight for Our Culture and Our Children (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992).

__________________

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Leo Alexander

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Washington D.C. broadcaster and politician, see Leo Alexander (D.C. activist).

Dr. Leo Alexander (October 11, 1905 – July 20, 1985) was an American psychiatristneurologist, educator, and author, of Austrian-Jewish origin. He was a key medical advisor during the Nuremberg Trials. Alexander wrote part of the Nuremberg Code, which provides legal and ethical principles for scientific experiment on humans.

 

 

Life[edit]

Born in ViennaAustria-Hungary, Alexander was the son of a physician. He graduated from the University of Vienna Medical School in 1929, interned in psychiatry at the University of Frankfurt, then emigrated to the United States in 1933. He taught at the medical schools of Harvard University and Duke University. During the war, he worked in Europe under United States Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson as an army medical investigator with the rank of Major. After the war, he was appointed chief medical advisor to Telford Taylor, the U.S. Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, and participated in the Nuremberg Trials in November 1946. He conceived the principles of the Nuremberg Code after observing and documenting German SS medical experiments at Dachau, and instances ofsterilization and euthanasia. Alexander later wrote that “science under dictatorship becomes subordinated to the guiding philosophy of the dictatorship.”[1]

Later, he served as assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University Medical School, where he stayed for almost 30 years. As a consultant for the Boston Police Department, Alexander was instrumental in solving the Boston Strangler case.[2] He directed the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Boston State Hospital, where he researched multiple sclerosis and studied neuropathology. He arranged for the treatment of 40 German Nazi concentration camp victims who had been injected by Dr. Josef Mengele with a precursor to gas gangrene, and provided them with psychiatric therapy.[3] Alexander wrote several books on psychiatry and neuropathology, and coined the terms thanatology—defined as the study of death—and ktenology—the science of killing.[4]

Alexander died of cancer in 1985 in Weston, Massachusetts, survived by three children.

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Alexander, Leo (1949). “Medical Science under Dictatorship”. New England Journal of Medicine 241 (2): 39–47. doi:10.1056/NEJM194907142410201PMID 18153643.
  2. Jump up^ Gale, 2007.
  3. Jump up^ New York Times, 1985.
  4. Jump up^ Marrus, 1999.

References[edit]

  • Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2007. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007. Retrieved on May 5, 2007.
  • Kindwall, Josef A. (September 1949). “Doctors of Infamy (review)”. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 265: 190–191. doi:10.1177/000271624926500146JSTOR 1026587.
  • Marrus, Michael R. (1999). “The Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial in Historical Context”. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 73 (1): 106–123. doi:10.1353/bhm.1999.0037PMID 10189729.
  • “Dr. Leo Alexander, Psychiatrist, Fiance of Mrs. Anne”. New York Times. 1969-12-07. p. 106.
  • “Dr. Leo Alexander, 79; Nuremberg Trial Aide”. New York Times. 1985-07-24. p. B5.

External links[edit]

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The Indivisible Fight for Life

by Nat Hentoff. Presented at AUL Forum, 19 October 1986, Chicago. This article is part of no violence period.

I’ll begin by indicating how I became aware, very belatedly, of the “indivisibility of life.” I mention this fragment of autobiography only be cause I think it may be useful to those who are interested in bringing others like me – some people are not interested in making the ranks more heterogeneous, but others are, as I’ve been finding out – to a realization that the “slippery slope” is far more than a metaphor.

When I say “like me,” I suppose in some respects I’m regarded as a “liberal,” although I often stray from that category, and certainly a civil libertarian – though the ACLU and I are in profound disagreement on the matters of abortion, handicapped infants and euthanasia, because I think they have forsaken basic civil liberties in dealing with these issues. I’m considered a liberal except for that unaccountable heresy of recent years that has to do with pro-life matters.

It’s all the more unaccountable to a lot of people because I remain an atheist, a Jewish atheist. (That’s a special branch of the division.) I think the question I’m most often asked from both sides is, “How do you presume to have this kind of moral conception without a belief in God?” And the answer is, “It’s harder.” But it’s not impossible.

For me, this transformation started with the reporting I did on the Babies Doe. While covering the story, I came across a number of physicians, medical writers, staff people in Congress and some members of the House and Senate who were convinced that making it possible for a spina bifida or a Down syndrome infant to die was the equivalent of what they called a “late abortion.” And surely, they felt, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Now, I had not been thinking about abortion at all. I had not thought about it for years. I had what W. H. Auden called in another context a “rehearsed response.” You mentioned abortion and I would say, “Oh yeah, that’s a fundamental part of women’s liberation,” and that was the end of it.

But then I started hearing about “late abortion.” The simple “fact” that the infant had been born, proponents suggest, should not get in the way of mercifully saving him or her from a life hardly worth living. At the same time, the parents are saved from the financial and emotional burden of caring for an imperfect child.

And then I heard the head of the Reproductive Freedom Rights unit of the ACLU saying – this was at the same time as the Baby Jane Doe story was developing on Long Island – at a forum, “I don’t know what all this fuss is about. Dealing with these handicapped infants is really an extension of women’s reproductive freedom rights, women’s right to control their own bodies.”

That stopped me. It seemed to me we were not talking about Roe v. Wade. These infants were born. And having been born, as persons under the Constitution, they were entitled to at least the same rights as people on death row – due process, equal protection of the law. So for the first time, I began to pay attention to the “slippery slope” warnings of pro-lifers I read about or had seen on television. Because abortion had become legal and easily available, that argument ran – as you well know – infanticide would eventually become openly permissible, to be followed by euthanasia for infirm, expensive senior citizens.

And then in the New York Review of Books , I saw the respected, though not by me, Australian bio-ethicist Peter Singer boldly assert that the slope was not slippery at all, but rather a logical throughway once you got on to it. This is what he said – and I’ve heard this in variant forms from many, many people who consider themselves compassionate, concerned with the pow erless and all that.

Singer: “The pro-life groups were right about one thing, the location of the baby inside or outside the womb cannot make much of a moral difference. We cannot coherently hold it is alright to kill a fetus a week before birth, but as soon as the baby is born everything must be done to keep it alive. The solution, however,” said Singer, “is not to accept the pro-life view that the fetus is a human being with the same moral status as yours or mine. The solution is the very opposite, to abandon the idea that all human life is of equal worth.” Which, of course, the majority of the Court had already done in Roe v. Wade.

Recently, I was interviewing Dr. Norman Levinsky, Chief of Medicine of Boston University Medical Center and a medical ethicist. He is one of those rare medical ethicists who really is concerned with nurturing life, as contrasted with those of his peers who see death as a form of treatment. He told me that he is much disturbed by the extent to which medical decisions are made according to the patient’s age. He says there are those physicians who believe that life is worth less if you’re over 80 than if you’re 28.

LEO ALEXANDER pictured below:

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So this is capsulizing an incremental learning process. I was beginning to learn about the indivisibility of life. I began to interview people, to read, and I read Dr. Leo Alexander. Joe Stanton, who must be the greatest single resource of information, at least to beginners – and, I think, non-beginners – in this field, sent me a whole lot of stuff, including Dr. Leo Alexander’s piece in the New England Journal of Medicine in the 1940s. And then I thought of Dr. Alexander when I saw an April 1984 piece in theNew England Journal of Medicine by 10 physicians defending the withdrawal of food and water from certain “hopelessly ill” patients. And I found out that Dr. Alexander was still alive then but didn’t have much longer to live. And he said to Patrick Duff, who is a professor of philosophy at Clarke University and who testified in the Brophy case, about that article, “It is much like Germany in the 20s and 30s. The barriers against killing are coming down.”

Nearly two years later, as you know, the seven member judicial council of theAmerican Medical Association ruled unanimously that it is ethical for doctors to withhold “all means of life-prolonging medical treatment” in cluding food and water, if the patient is in a coma that is “beyond doubt irreversible” and “there are adequate safeguards to confirm the accuracy of the diagnosis.” Now keep in mind “beyond doubt irreversible” and “adequate safeguards to confirm the accuracy of the diagnosis.” Death, to begin with, may not be imminent for food and water to be stopped, according to the AMA.

Then Dr. Nancy Dickey, who is chairman of the council that made that ruling, noted that there is no medical definition of”adequate safeguards,” no checklist that doctors would have to fill out in each case. The decision would be up to each doctor.

Aside from the ethics of this, for the moment, I would point out that the New England Journal of Medicine, or at least the editor, Dr. Arnold Relman, said fairly recently that there are at least 40,000 incompetent physicians in the United States – incompetent or impaired. At least.

Back to Dr. Norman Levinsky. This is all part of this learning process. It is not a huge step, he said, from stopping the feeding to giving the patient a little more morphine to speed his end. I mean it is not a big step from passive to active euthanasia.

Well, in time, a rather short period of time, I became pro-life across the board, which led to certain social problems, starting at home. My wife’s most recurrent attack begins with, “You are creating social mischief,” and there are people at my paper who do not speak to me anymore. In most cases, that’s no loss.

And I began to find out, in a different way, how the stereotypes about pro-lifers work. When you’re one of them and you read about the stereotypes, you get a sort of different perspective.

There’s a magazine called the ProgressiveIt’s published in Madison, Wisconsin. It comes out of the progressive movement of Senator Lafolette, in the early part of this century. It is very liberal. Its staff, the last I knew, was without exception pro-abortion. But its editor is a rare editor in that he believes not only that his readers can stand opinions contrary to what they’d like to hear, but that it’s good for them. His name is Erwin Knoll and he published a long piece by Mary Meehan, who is one of my favorite authors, which pointed out that for the left, of all groups of society, not to understand that the most helpless members of this society are the preborn – a word that I picked up today, better than unborn – is strange, to say the least.

The article by Meehan produced an avalanche of letters. I have not seen such vitriol since Richard Nixon was president – and he deserved it. One of the infuriated readers said pro-life is only a code word representing the kind of neo-fascist, absolutist thinking that is the antithesis to the goals of the left. What, exactly, are the anti-abortionists for? School prayer, a strong national defense, the traditional family characterized by patriarchal dominance. And what are they against? School busing, homosexuals, divorce, sex education, the ERA, welfare, contraception and birth control. I read that over five or six times and none of those applied to me.

I began to wonder if Meehan and I were the only pro-life people who came from the left. Meehan has a long background in civil rights work. And by the way, she said in the piece, “It is out of characterfor the left to neglect the weak and helpless. The traditional mark of the left has been its protection of the underdog, the weak and the poor. The unborn child is the most helpless form of humanity, even more in need of protection than the poor tenant farmer or the mental patient. The basic instinct of the left is to aid those who cannot aid themselves. And that instinct is absolutely sound. It’s what keeps the human proposition going.”

I’ll give you a quick footnote on the Progressive. Erwin Knoll got a series of ads, tiny ads because they couldn’t pay very much even at the magazine’s rates, from a group called Feminists for Life or America – a group, by the way, that is anti-nuclear weapons and is also very pro-life in terms of being anti-abortion. And the ads ran. There is a group called the Funding Exchange which is made up of foundations which are put into operation and headed by the scions of the rich. These are children who are trying to atone for their parents’ rapaciousness by doing good. The children are liberals. The Funding Exchange was so horrified to see those three tiny ads that even though the Progressive is soundly pro-abortion, the Funding Exchange not only dropped the grant they had given the Progressive, but they made a point of telling Erwin Knoll that they were going to make sure that other foundations didn’t give them any money either. I’m always in trigued at how few people understand that free speech encompasses a little more than the speech you like.

Well eventually, in addition to Mary Meehan, I found that there were a number of other pro-lifers who also do not cherish the MX missile, William Bradford Reynolds, or Ronald Reagan. And one of them is Juli Loesch, who writes and speaks against both war and abortion. She is the founder of Pro-lifers for Survival, which describes itself as a network of women and men supporting alternatives to abortion and nuclear arms. She’s rather rare, I find in my limited experience, among combatants on all sides of this question because she is unfailingly lucid – and she has a good sense of humor. In an interview in the U.S. Catholic she said that combining her various pro-life preoccupations “was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. It’s great because you always have common ground with someone. For example, if you’re talking to pro-lifers you can always warmup the crowd, so to speak, by saying a lot of anti-abortion stuff. After you’ve got everybody celebrating the principles they all hold dear, you apply those principles to the nuclear arms issue. For instance, I’ll say ‘this nuclear radiation is going to destroy the unborn in the womb all over the world.’ And then I always lay a quote by the late Herman Kahn on them. He pointed out that about 100 million embryonic deaths would result from limited nuclear war. One hundred million embryonic deaths is of limited significance, he said, because human fecundity being what it is, the slight reduction in fecundity should not be a matter of serious concern even to individuals. Tell that to a pro-life group,” she says, “and their response will be, ‘That guy’s an abortionist.’ Well what he was was a nuclear strategist.”

I found other allies as a result of having been interviewed on National Public Radio as the curiosity of the month. Letters came in from around the country, most of them saying essentially what a woman from Illinois wrote:

“I feel as you do, that it is ethically, not to mention logically, inconsistent to oppose capital punishment and nuclear armament while supporting abortion and/or euthanasia.”

The most surprising letters were two from members of the boards of two state affiliates of the ACLU. Now I’m a former member of the national board and I was on the New York board for 17 years, and I well know the devotion of the vast number of the rank and file, let alone the leadership, to abortion. rights. So I was surprised to get these letters. One board member from Maryland said we had a board meeting where we approved with only one dissent (his) the decision of the national board to put the right to abortion at the top of its priorities – the top of its priorities. Forget the First Amendment and the Fourth, let Edwin Meese take care of those. There was no discussion, he said, of the relation of abortion to capital punishment.

The most interesting letter was from Barry Nakell, who is a law profes sor at the University of North Carolina. He is one of the founders of the affiliate of the ACLU there. And he gave me a copy of a speech he made in 1985 at the annual meeting in Chapel Hill of the North Carolina Civil Liberties Union. He reminded the members that the principle of respect for the dignity of life was the basis for the paramount issue on the North Carolina Civil Liberties Union agenda since its founding. That group was founded because of their opposition to capital punishment. Yet, he said, supporting Roe v. Wade, these civil libertarians were agreeing that the Constitution protects the right to take life. The situation is a little backward, Nakell told his brothers and sisters. In the classical position, the Constitu tion would be interpreted to protect the right to life, and pro-abortion advocates would be pressing to relax that constitutional guarantee. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court turned that position upside down and the ACLU went along, taking the decidedly odd civil libertarian position that some lives are less worthy of protection than other lives. I asked Nakell how his heresy had been received. Apparently they’re much more polite down there than they are in New York. “With civility,” he said. As a matter of fact, he added, there were several members of the board who had been troubled for some time, but it’s interesting, they didn’t quite want to come out and say they were worried about Roe v. Wade,that they were worried about abortion. But Nakell took the first step. He’s an optimist by temperament and he tells me he expects to make more progress. And then he told me about a bumper sticker he had seen recently in North Carolina- “Equal Rights for Unborn Women.”

For several years now I’ve been researching a profile of Cardinal O’Connor of New York, which will be a book eventually. And in the course of that I came across Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” concept. It’s a phrase he does not use any more because of internal political reasons. It is now called the “consistent ethic of life,” which is fine by me. I miss “seamless garment” though, because there’s a nice literary flavor to it. But I’ll accept “consistent ethic of life.” Bernardin said, in a speech at Fordham that has won him considerable plaudits and considerable dissonance, “[N]uclear war threatens life on a previously unimaginable scale. Abortion takes life daily on a horrendous scale. Public executions are fast becoming weekly events in the most advanced technological society in history, and euthanasia is now openly discussed and even advocated. Each of these assaults on life has its own meaning and morality. They cannot be collapsed into one problem, but they must be confronted as pieces of a larger pattern.”

That had a profound effect on me. It’s not new. As a matter of fact, Juli Loesch thought of it before he did, as did the people at The Catholic Worker who got it, of course, from Dorothy Day. And it goes further back into the centuries. But there was something about the way Bernardin put it that hit me very hard.

So I decided by now, because I was considered by some people to be a reliable pro-lifer, I decided to go out to Columbus, Ohio, where I had been asked to speak at the annual Right to Life convention. And, I thought, I’m going to bring them the word, if they haven’t heard it before from Cardinal Bernardin. At first they were delighted to see me, but that didn’t last very long. Jack Willke and Mrs. Willke were there, and they can attest to the fact that in some respects I’m lucky to be here. I pointed out that pro-lifers – maybe this is chutzpah, telling people who have been in this all their lives what you’ve discovered in 20 minutes – that pro-lifers ought to be opposing capital punishment and nuclear armament and the Reagan budget with its dedicated care for missiles as it cuts funds for the Women/Infant/Children Program that provides diet supplements and medical checkups for mothers in poverty. Surely, I said, they should not emulate the President in these matters – and here I stole a line from Congressman Barney Frank – they should not emulate the President in being pro-life only up to the moment of birth. Well the faces before me began to close, and from the middle and the back of the dining room there were shouts. I couldn’t make out the words, but they were not approving. As I went on, there were more shouts as well as growls and table-thumping of an insistence that indicated a tumbrel awaited outside. I finally ended my speech to a chorus of howls, and several of the diners rushed toward the dais. I did not remember ever intending to die for this cause, but as it turned out the attacks were all verbal. Most of the disappointed listeners, once they caught their breath, charitably ascribed my failure to understand the total unrelatedness of nuclear arms and abortion to my not yet having found God.

But I discovered in other places that I didn’t have to bring them the news of the consistent ethic of life. I talked at the Catholic church outside Stamford, Connecticut last week, and they – including the pastor – understood the “consistent ethic of life” agreat deal better than I did. So I see some real hope for my point of view.

There are a lot of people like me out there who are troubled by abortion. That should not stop them from joining at least one of the more possibly compatible groups, but it does. They are unwilling to join what they consider to be the forces of Reagan, Rambo and Rehnquist. But there are beginning to be pro-life forces that they can in conscience – they have consciences too – join. One of them is Pro-lifers for Survival, another is Feminists for Life of America. And there is something that just started that I find very interesting. It’s very small now. It’s the first consistent-ethic-of-life political action committee, and it’s called JustLife. The people who started it were some what dismayed that anti-abortionists like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart and other such household names were giving the impres sion that if Christ were in the Senate, he’d vote for Star Wars. The founders of JustLife thought that a new assembly of Christians – most of them, by the way, theologically conservative evangelicals and Catholics – ought, there fore, to start the political action committee.

What they aim to show is that there is another Christian perspective on these matters. JustLife is supporting candidates who advocate what it calls, again, a “consistent ethic of life.” A candidate does not have to be a Christian to get help from this PAC, but he or she does have to oppose abortion. Another requirement is a determination to end, rather than further institutionalize, the nuclear arms race. They’re against the MX missile. They’re against Star Wars. Now I think you see that the nuclear part of their program is mild. I’m a disciple of A. J. Muste. He was a Christian pacifist. The new PAC does not go so far as Muste or Dorothy Day. Instead, it urges verifiable multi-lateral disarmament. Everybody’s for that, except when you get to the negotiating table. One board member, Kathleen Hayes, who is managing editor of the Christian magazine, The Other Side, told the Catholic Register that she believes that unilateral disarmament is ultimately what the gospel would call us to. But the aim of JustLife is to pick up votes, and there’s a much more powerful gospel if you want to pick up votes, and that’s called deterrence.

The third basic criterion the candidate has to meet to get money from JustLife, is that he or she must recognize that there are actual poor people out there – not just freeloaders, as the Attorney General has suggested. Once the poor are seen as three dimensional, a JustLife candidate has to show that he or she would work to get them health care, housing and food. For as it was said, “Blessed are the hungry, for they shall be filled.” Distilling its tripartite credo in its first fundraising letter, JustLife em phasizes, “[W]e support an unborn child’s right to life. We also support that child’s right to adequate nutrition, housing, education and health care. We support that child’s right to live in a safe world.”

Now this political witness by Christians going contrary to the politics of most other pro-life groups – that is, those pro-life groups that have political agenda- is obviously well within the rights of free speech and assembly. Yet another interesting thing, and I find this dismaying, is that while a number of Catholic bishops agree with the thrust of JustLife – in fact one of them was originally on the board, and a consistent ethic of life is now an official position of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops as of last November – there are no Catholic bishops on the board of JustLife. The main reason is that there is a current lawsuit brought by Larry Lader, the pro-abortionist, challenging the tax-exempt status of the Catholic church on the charge that it has been engaged in political campaigning and in lobbying against abortion. Because of the length of that suit, its cost and its still uncertain outcome, the bishops are experiencing a chilling effect. And I’ve seen no editorials about that from people who would ordinarily be concerned with the First Amend ment.

Meanwhile, JustLife, having announced publicly its existence in June, has raised $45,000 from 1,300 contributors, expects to reach $60,000 by the end of the year and is gearing up for 1988. I’ll show you how it works in one state, because this could eventually happen elsewhere. In Nevada, the Pro-Family Coalition has endorsed Republican James Santini, but since Santini is against both the nuclear freeze and funding for poverty programs, JustLife is on the side of Congressman Harry Reid, who votes to fill the hungry, slim down the Pentagon and is also against abortion. They’re both against abortion, but only one, says JustLife, keeps on caring for life after birth. I would like to see this group grow, and other groups do the same thing or similar things. [Reid won in November.]

On Sunday October 25th, Cardinal O’Connor had a letter read at all masses at all parishes in the Archdiocese of New York. It was Respect Life Sunday. And this is how the letter began: “I am frightened and chilled by the continuing destruction of unborn human life, and now we are seeing precisely what we have been predicting all along. Once the victory seemed to be won on legalizing the killing of the unborn, attention was turned to the terminally ill. Now we are hearing a clamor thoughout the United States for legislation that will lift any regulations whatsoever in regard to sustaining the life of a terminally ill patient. Indeed the move is toward authorizing the deliberate speeding up of the deaths of vulnerable patients by starvation or dehydration. It all goes together. What is permitted today is often demanded tomorrow. If the current contempt for the unborn continues, in my judgment we will soon see required genetic screening programs, with public health authorities urging mothers to abort babies that may be born with defects. I’ve been reading that this summer the state of California has introduced a program which moves precisely in that direction. I plead with you to reflect with utmost urgency on what is happening. Do not think that your life, or your aging parents’ lives, or the lives of the handicapped, the cancerous, the so-called ‘useless,’ are secure if the proponents of euthanasia have their way.”

Finally, with that in mind, back in 1971, two years before Roe v. Wade, in the state of New York, the legislature, after much pressure, decided to decriminalize abortion and make it a good deal easier. At the time, a significant editorial was delivered on the local CBS station by Sherri Henry, who has since become a big-time talk show host. And she wrote then, “[A]bortion is no longer illegal in New York. It is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to fear. It is one sensible method of dealing with such problems as overpopulation, illegitimacy, and possible birth defects. It is one way of fighting the rising welfare rolls and the increasing number of child abuse cases.

Very simple. When there are no children, they can’t be abused. When there are no severely handicapped children or adults, we will all save money. When everyone in failing health has to die by a certain age, how much more aesthetic our society will be.

Most people will begin to understand the lethal logic of the abortionists, the advocates of euthanasia, and the AMA, if this logic is presented lucidly, persistently and on the basis of the indivisibility of all life. All life.

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Artist featured today is Ray Johnson

Ray Johnson Doc – Brush and the Water Pt. 1

By: Franklin Bruno | Categories: Art, HiLo Heroes

RAY JOHNSON (1927–95) was several artists in one: a Black Mountain-trained painter whose early rejection of Abstract Expressionist purity was as deliberate as Rauschenberg’s, Johns’s, and Twombly’s (in whose fireplace Johnson burned his student work); a formal collagist who combined Joseph Cornell’s gift for lending personal and symbolic weight to scrap material with a Warholian eye for transformative Camp; the founder and distribution node of “The New York Correspondence [sometimes ‘Correspondance‘] School,” which helped initiate the genre of “mail art”; a performer whose koan-like “Nothings,” which might consist of little more than Johnson standing in a bank lobby chewing peanut-butter cups and silently reading Walt Whitman, contrasted starkly with the antic, multi-media “Happenings” of the ’60s and ’70s. An insider’s outsider, three decades of such activity made Johnson “the most famous unknown artist in New York,” as one review put it, but he withdrew from the art world and market in the ’80s and ’90s, working privately while underlining his absence with thousands of typed and Xeroxed mailings. (Prophetically, his self-isolation roughly coincided with the rise of the Internet.) On a Friday the 13th in 1995, he drove to Orient, Long Island, warned one or two intimates of a coming “mail event” by phone, and dropped himself off a country bridge like a letter into a slot, leaving his Sag Harbor home and studio as a series of carefully staged tableaux. Like this last, self-canceling gesture, each of Johnson’s works — many of which were initially aimed at a single postal recipient — connects to hundreds of others through visual and verbal puns and cultural allusions, but the man at their center and his ultimate intent remain unfathomable, as though meaning itself were a vast, networked conspiracy.

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On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Louis Althusser.

READ MORE about members of the Postmodernist Generation (1924-33).

Ray Johnson Doc – Brush and the Water Pt. 2

Ray Johnson (center right) in Josef Albers’ class at Black Mountain College, c. 1948

A CONVERSATION WITH RAY JOHNSON AND JOHN HELD, JR. (DECEMBER 2, 1977)

Uploaded on Sep 16, 2010

THIS IS A CONVERSATION BETWEEN RAY JOHNSON AND JOHN HELD, JR. (DECEMBER 2, 1977). I PROCESSED THE ORIGINAL VHS WITH JOHN’S PERMISSION FOR PRESENTATION ON YOU TUBE.

(Ray Johnson and Richard Lippold at Black Mountain College)

How to Draw a Bunny: The Ray Johnson Memorial Show (dvd extra feature)

SFAQ

REVIEW: RAY JOHNSON & ROBERT WARNER

“Tables of Contents:
Ray Johnson & Robert Warner: Bob Box Archive”

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
University of California, Berkeley
January 27-May 20, 2012
Lectures by:
Robert Warner, January 27
Dickran Tashjian, April 18

Ray Johnson has become a cult hero, in large part due to his posthumous film portrait, “How to Draw a Bunny.” During his life (1927-1995), he was known as, “the most famous unknown artist in New York.” Those of us who knew him when…when no one else did…we treasured him. We knew he was the real deal and an inspiration on how to conduct an artful life.

Purposely avoiding public recognition in life, Johnson knew the art world in detail, having attended Black Mountain College, trained by Josef Albers, befriended by John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Ruth Awawa, et al.

Johnson was generous in sharing his friendships with others. In the late 1970s, he introduced me to William Copley (aka Cply), a friend of Marcel Duchamp, who was recovering from burns in Key West, Florida, while I was there on vacation. Copley was a functionary for Duchamp, gathering needed materials for the master artist’s last work, “Etant Donnés,” which was created in secret. Copley was necessary in perpetuating the ruse that Duchamp had “quit making art.”

Ray Johnson

So too, did Johnson use Robert Warner to run his errands in New York City, while Johnson secluded himself in the North Shore Long Island suburb of Locust Valley. Mugged the same day Warhol was shot, Ray took himself out of the scene, making occasional forays into the city, but relying on others like Warner to perpetuate his artistic presence, by asking him, for instance, to carry out mysterious deliveries to Jasper Johns.

Sequestered from the scene, using a third parties to intervene in his “performances,” Johnson continued his traditions of “nothings,” or “non-happenings,” which he labeled many of his public performances. If “happenings” were created situations to elevate one above the happenstance of existence , “nothings” blended activity with everyday life…nothing special.

Johnson’s prime motivation was the aesthetic distribution of communication – not only through the postal system, with which he is associated as the Father of Mail Art – but by various mediums, including the telephone. Johnson persistent daytime telephone calls to Warner, caused Bob’s boss (an optician) to pull the plug on these workday performances. But by then, Bob had proved himself.

Johnson’s mailed works often included an “acid test.” They were freely given, but included calls for reciprocal response. Many of his mailings contained admonitions to “add and pass” or “add and return,” challenging the “purity quotient” of the receiver. Did the correspondent conform to instruction? Was the original photocopied first and then passed along? Was the admonition ignored? Bob Warner was subjected to a variety of these tasks, proving his trustworthiness.

Having earned his stripes, Warner was given fifteen cardboard boxes stuffed with received mail and scores of addressed but unsent envelopes. Warner was instructed to forward two of the boxes to another party. For years, Warner kept the remaining thirteen boxes unopened and intact. In 2010, Esopus Magazine, sponsored a project through their gallery affiliate, whereby Warner would open the boxes in public and inventory the works.

After the exhibition, the newly inventoried works traveled to Philadelphia, with Berkeley the third stop of the tour. It was recommended to the Berkeley Museum by Dickran Tasjanian, a professor emeritus from the University of California, Irvine, recently retired to the Bay Area. The author of Skyscraper Primitives: Dada and the American Avant-Garde, 1910-1925, and Boatload of Madman: Surrealism and the American Avant-Garde, 1920-1950,” the scholar, an acquaintance of Warner, was aptly suited to appreciate Johnson’s difficult fit into these previous avant-gardes.

Tasjanian’s admiration was made easier by his and Johnson’s mutual appreciation of Joseph Cornell. Tashjian also authored, Joseph Cornell: Gifts of Desire, and Johnson counted Cornell among his circle of friends. A critical remark that Ray found amusing and often circulated was, “Johnson is to the letter, what Cornell was to the box.”

Both Warner and Tasjanian conducted gallery talks – Warner at the opening of the exhibition, and Tasjanian during its course. Both talks were well attended and served to inform the curious. Spread out on thirteen tables, the contents of the thirteen boxes needed some clarification.

At first sight, the items appear to be piles of flotsam and jetsam, with no apparent relationship to one another. The collection was not selected by Johnson, but generated by the Mail Art network. In deciphering the accumulation, there are clues for the initiated. For instance – a collection of belts, which related to Johnson’s fascination with snakes (and penises), and were in all likelihood, remnants of his 1970s era, “Spam Belt Club.” Johnson would often include instructions to his correspondents to send objects to an unwitting third party- for example, “Send slips to Lucy Lippard.” In turn, Johnson would often be the recipient of his correspondents peccadillos.

The boxes also contained items returned and embellished by correspondents as requested by Johnson, including a Johnson exhibition poster altered and returned by Bay Area artist William Wiley.

Ray Johnson

Also on exhibition are several of Johnson’s more formal collages, composed of wood or compressed cardboard, often bearing images first found in his mailings. Rarely shown during his lifetime, these works have gained increased recognition through their exhibition by the Ray Johnson Estate, administered by the Richard L. Feigen & Co., New York.

Despite the elegance of the framed collages, and their obvious appeal to collectors, the true importance of Ray Johnson lies in his preoccupation with the distribution of the artwork, in the process of which, he established a worldwide network, which continues to uphold his practice of freely circulated works, stimulating long distance aesthetic communication, friendship, and community.

Written by John Held, Jr.

Interview between Ray Johnson and John Held, Jr. linked here 

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

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“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 146, David Sloan Wilson, Dept of Biological Sciences at Binghamton University, “Profound optimism has been replaced by profound pessimism about our capacity to make the world a better place through reason”

 

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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

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,

 

David Sloan Wilson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
David Sloan Wilson
David-sloan-wilson-leaning.png
Born 1949
Residence Norwalk, Connecticut[1]
Fields Evolutionary BiologyAnthropology
Institutions Harvard University
University of Washington
University of the Witwatersrand
University of California, Davis
Michigan State University
Binghamton University
Alma mater University of Rochester (B.A.)
Michigan State University(Ph.D.)
Doctoral students Jonathan Gottschall[2]
Known for Darwin’s Cathedral
Evolution for Everyone
Influenced Jonathan Haidt[citation needed]

David Sloan Wilson (born 1949) is an American evolutionary biologist and a Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He is a son of the author Sloan Wilson.

Academic career[edit]

Wilson graduated with a B.A. with high honors in 1971 from the University of Rochester. He then completed his Ph.D. in 1975 from Michigan State University. He then worked as a Research Fellow in the Biological Laboratories at Harvard University from 1974-1975. He then held a dual position as a Research Associate in Zoology at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Washington from 1975 to 1976. After this he was a Senior Research Officer at the South African National Research Institute for the Mathematical Sciences from 1976 to 1977.

Wilson moved back to the United States and held an Assistant Professorship in the Division of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Davis, from 1977 to 1980. He then served as an Assistant and then Associate Professor at the Kellogg Biological Station and Department of Zoology of Michigan State University from 1980 to 1988. Wilson was then promoted to full Professor of Biological Sciences at the State University of New York, Binghamton, in 1988. He was then given a joint appointment as Professor of Anthropology in 2001.

Wilson started the Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) program at Binghamton University to provide a program that unifies diverse disciplines under the theory of evolution. Students in the program take evolution-themed courses in a variety of disciplines including biology, anthropology, psychology, bioengineering, philosophy, religion and the psychology of religion. There is also a required course called “Current Topics in Evolutionary Studies”, where students attend weekly seminars with a discussion followed afterward. SUNY New Paltz has started a similar program.

Research[edit]

Wilson is a prominent proponent of the concept of group selection (also known as multi-level selection) in evolution. He and Elliott Sober proposed a framework called multilevel selection theory, which incorporates the more orthodox approach of gene-level selection and individual selection, in their book Unto Others. This framework argues that while genes serve as the means by which organisms’ designs are transmitted across generations, individuals and groups are vehicles for those genes and both are arenas for genes to act on. Indeed, genes themselves can be affected by selection, not just because of their effects on the design of their vehicle (the organism) but also because of their effect on the functioning of the DNA on which they reside. Hence the notion of multilevel selection. Wilson has also coined the concept of a trait-group, a group of organisms linked not permanently as a group but having a shared fate due to interactions that they have.

Publications[edit]

  • Unto Others (1998) co-edited with Elliott Sober. (Proposition of a framework called multilevel selection theory, which incorporates the more orthodox approach of gene-level selection and individual selection).
  • Darwin’s Cathedral (2002) (Religion as a multi-level adaptation).
  • Rethinking the Theoretical Foundation of Sociobiology (2006) co-edited with E. O. Wilson
  • Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives (2007)
  • The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time (2011)
  • Pathological Altruism (2011) co-edited with Barbara Oakley, Ariel Knafo, and Guruprasad Madhavan.
  • Does Altruism Exist?: Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others (2015)
  • The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative (2005) co-edited with Jonathan Gottschall

Wilson’s book Darwin’s Cathedral proposes that religion is a multi-level adaptation, a product of cultural evolution developed through a process of multi-level selection for more cooperative and cohesive groups. His book Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives attempts to give an introduction to evolution for a broad audience, detailing the various ways in which evolution can be applied to everyday affairs. There is also a class at Binghamton University that is called “Evolution for Everyone”, and students are required to read the book as part of the class.

Wilson’s latest book for a general audience is The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time, published in August 2011. Wilson also co-edited Pathological Altruism published by Oxford University Press in November 2011 with Barbara Oakley, Ariel Knafo, and Guruprasad Madhavan.

Wilson and his co-author E. O. Wilson have become well known[citation needed] for the quote, “Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary”. This quotation appeared in their paper, “Rethinking the Theoretical Foundation of Sociobiology”.

Wilson is a blogger for the ScienceBlogs,[3] where he extensively discusses and defends both the theory of evolution and his multilevel selection model.

 

In  the second video below in the 85th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

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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Below is the letter I wrote to respond to his quote:

 

March 1, 2017

 

Dr. David Sloan Wilson, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Departments of Biology and Anthropology,  Binghamton University, State University of New York, 4400 Vestal Parkway East, Binghamton, NY 13902,

Dear Dr. Wilson,

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

david sloan wilson  QUOTE

Those who believed in reason and science in the 19th century were deists and not atheists. That we were going to use reason to discover about the creator. Deists were marked with a profound optimism that science and reason could improve the human condition. That was true of the 19th century but not now. What happened was deism morphed into atheism and atheism treats God as an unnecessary hypothesis. Profound optimism has been replaced by profound pessimism about our capacity to make the world a better place through reason. If you are going to use science and reason now you are going to be an atheist and not a deist.

You noted, “Profound optimism has been replaced by profound pessimism about our capacity to make the world a better place through reason.” Evidently you are saying that EVOLUTIONARY OPTIMISTIC HUMANISM like the variety that was talked about in the 19th century has been given up for pessimism. Charles Darwin in his autobiography was touting the same idea that you are addressing. 

When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

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

“Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is,”

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER COMMENTED:

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

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

In Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography he noted:

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

Francis Schaeffer commented:

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

You think of the Swedish Opera (ANIARA) that is pictured inside a spaceship. There was a group of men and women going into outer space and they had come to another planet and the singing inside the spaceship was normal opera music. Suddenly there was a big explosion and the world had blown up and these were the last people left, the only conscious people left, and the last scene is the spaceship is off course and it will never land, but will just sail out into outer space and that is the end of the plot. They say when it was shown in Stockholm the first time, the tough Swedes with all their modern  mannishness, came out (after the opera was over) with hardly a word said, just complete silence.

Darwin already with his own position says he CAN’T STAND IT!! You can say, “Why can’t you stand it?” We would say to Darwin, “You were not made for this kind of thing. Man was made in the image of God. Your CAN’T- STAND- IT- NESS is screaming at you that your position is wrong. Why can’t you listen to yourself?”

You find all he is left here is biological continuity, and thus his feeling as well as his reason now is against his own theory, yet he holds it against the conclusions of his reason. Reason doesn’t make it hard to be a Christian. Darwin shows us the other way. He is holding his position against his reason.

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These words of Darwin ring in my ear, “…it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress…” . Schaeffer rightly noted, “Maybe tomorrow at noon human life may be wiped out. Darwin already feels the tension, because if human life is going to be wiped out tomorrow, what is it worth today? Darwin can’t stand the thought of death of all men.” IN OTHER WORDS ALL WE ARE IS DUST IN THE WIND.  I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

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

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

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

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

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

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

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The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […]

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______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

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  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

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__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

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_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 145, Dan Brown, Dept of Chemistry, Kings College, Cambridge, Are you a chapel goer now? “I am entirely atheistic and have always have been!”

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Harry Kroto pictured below:

_________________

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

_____________

 

Interview of Dan Brown, 2008

Uploaded on Jan 6, 2009

An interview with the chemist and important researcher on RNA, Dan Brown, in January 2008 by Alan Macfarlane. For a higher quality, downloadable, version with a detailed summary, please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com

All revenues to World Oral Literature Project

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Dan Brown

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Dr Daniel Brown FRS. He died yesterday (Tuesday 24 April), aged 89.

Dan was born in Giffnock, Renfrewshire in 1923 and studied for his PhD at Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow of King’s in 1953 and remained here until his death.

He was a University Lecturer in Chemistry 1957-1975, and Vice-Provost of the college 1974-1981.

Dan was an eminent chemist, who was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society in 1982.

 

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His comments can be found on the 2nd  video and the 88th clip in this series. Below the videos you will find his words.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Dan Brown interviewed by Alan Macfarlane 10th January 2008

 

Quote from Dan Brown

Are you a chapel goer now? I am entirely atheistic and have always have been!

As a man of science Dan Brown needed evidence. I wish he had a chance in the past to examine this evidence below.

 

 

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

 ____________

Does it seem logical that God inspired men to write the Books in the Bible and that those books would be correct in what they say?  Why not consider the evidence?

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

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Archaeology and the Old Testament

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

A man wearing a leather vest and a broad-rimmed hat wraps a ripped piece of cloth around an old bone, sets it on fire, and uses it as a torch to see his way through ancient tunnels filled with bones, rats, bugs, and buried treasure. Close behind him lurks the dastardly villain, ready to pounce on the treasure after the hero has done all the planning and dangerous work. We have seen this scenario, or others similar to it, time and again in movies like Indiana Jones or The Mummy. And although we understand that Hollywood exaggerates and dramatizes the situation, it still remains a fact that finding ancient artifacts excites both young and old alike. Finding things left by people of the past is exciting because a little window of their lives is opened to us. When we find an arrowhead, we are reminded that Indians used bows and arrows to hunt and fight. Discovering a piece of pottery tells us something about the lives of ancient cultures. Every tiny artifact gives the modern person a more complete view of life in the past.

Because of the intrinsic value of archaeology, many have turned to it in order to try to answer certain questions about the past. One of the questions most often asked is, “Did the things recorded in the Bible really happen?” Truth be told, archaeology cannot always answer that question. Nothing material remains from Elijah’s ascension into heaven, and no physical artifacts exist to show that Christ actually walked on water. Therefore, if we ask archaeology to “prove” that the entire Bible is true or false, we are faced with the fact that archaeology can neither prove nor disprove the Bible’s validity. However, even though it cannot conclusively prove the Bible’s veracity in every instance, archaeology can provide important pieces of the past that consistently verify the Bible’s historical and factual accuracy. This month’s Reason and Revelation article is designed to bring to light a small fraction of the significant archaeological finds that have been instrumental in corroborating the biblical text of the Old Testament.

HEZEKIAH AND SENNACHERIB

When Hezekiah assumed the throne of Judah, he did so under extremely distressing conditions. His father Ahaz had turned to the gods of Damascus, cut into pieces the articles within the house of Jehovah, and shut the doors of the temple of the Lord. In addition, he created high places “in every single city” where he sacrificed, and offered incense to other gods (2 Chronicles 28:22-27). The people of Judah followed Ahaz, and as a result, the Bible records that “the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the Lord” (2 Chronicles 28:19).

Upon this troubled throne, King Hezekiah began to rule at the youthful age of just twenty-five. He reigned for twenty-nine years, and the inspired text declares that he “did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done” (2 Chronicles 29:2). Among other reforms, Hezekiah reopened the temple, reestablished the observance of the Passover, and appointed the priests to receive tithes and administer their proper duties in the temple. After completing these reforms, Scripture states that “Sennacherib, king of Assyria entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself ” (2 Chronicles 32:1).

It is here that we turn to the secular record of history to discover that the powerful nation Assyria, under the reign of King Sargon II, had subdued many regions in and around Palestine. Upon Sargon’s death, revolt broke out within the Assyrian empire. Sennacherib, the new Assyrian king, was determined to maintain a firm grasp on his vassal states, which meant that he would be forced to invade the cities of Judah if Hezekiah continued to defy Assyria’s might (Hoerth, 1998, pp. 341-352). Knowing that Sennacherib would not sit by idly and watch his empire crumble, King Hezekiah began to make preparations for the upcoming invasion. One of the preparations he made was to stop the water from the springs that ran outside of Jerusalem, and to redirect the water into the city by way of a tunnel. Second Kings 20:20 records the construction of the tunnel with these words: “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah—all his might, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city—are they not written in the book of chronicles of the kings of Judah?”

Hezekiah's Tunnel
Inside view of Hezekiah’s tunnel, displaying the thick limestone through which workers had to dig. Credit: Todd Bolen (www.BiblePlaces.com).

The biblical text from 2 Chronicles 32:30 further substantiates the tunnel construction with this comment: “This same Hezekiah also stopped the water outlet of Upper Gihon, and brought the water by tunnel to the west side of the City of David.” The tunnel—known today as “Hezekiah’s tunnel”—stands as one of the paramount archaeological attestations to the biblical text. Carved through solid limestone, the tunnel meanders in an S-shape under the city of Jerusalem for a length of approximately 1,800 feet. In 1880, two boys swimming at the site discovered an inscription (about 20 feet from the exit) that provided exacting details regarding how the tunnel had been constructed:

…And this was the account of the breakthrough. While the laborers were still working with their picks, each toward the other, and while there were still three cubits to be broken through, the voice of each was heard calling to the other, because there was a crack (or split or overlap) in the rock from the south to the north. And at the moment of the breakthrough, the laborers struck each toward the other, pick against pick. Then water flowed from the spring to the pool for 1,200 cubits. And the height of the rock above the heads of the laborers was 100 cubits (Price, 1997, p. 267).

Of the inscription, John Laughlin wrote that it is “one of the most important, as well as famous, inscriptions ever found in Judah” (2000, p. 145). Incidentally, since the length of the tunnel was about 1,800 feet, and the inscription marked the tunnel at “1,200 cubits,” archaeologists have a good indication that the cubit was about one-and-a-half feet at the time of Hezekiah (Free and Vos, 1992, p. 182). Dug in order to keep a steady supply of water pumping into Jerusalem during Sennacherib’s anticipated siege, Hezekiah’s tunnel stands as a strong witness to the accuracy of the biblical historical record of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles.

Siloam Insciption
The Siloam inscription commemorates the excavation of Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Archaeological Museum, Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY.

In addition to Hezekiah’s tunnel, other amazingly detailed archaeological evidence provides an outstanding record of some of the events as they unfolded between Hezekiah and Sennacherib. Much of the information we have comes from the well-known Taylor Prism. This fascinating, six-sided clay artifact stands about 15 inches tall, and was found in Nineveh in 1830 by British colonel R. Taylor. Thus, it is known as the “Taylor Prism” (Price, pp. 272-273). The prism contains six columns covered by over 500 lines of writing, and was purchased in the winter of 1919-1920 by J.H. Breasted for the Oriental Institute in Chicago (Hanson, 2002).

Part of the text on the Taylor Prism has Sennacherib’s account of what happened in his military tour of Judah.

As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit to my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong cities, walled forts and to the countless small villages in their vicinity, and conquered (them) by means of well-stamped (earth)ramps, and battering-rams brought (thus) near (to the walls) (combined with) the attack by foot soldiers, (using) mines, breeches as well as sapper work. I drove out (of them) 200,150 people, young and old, male and female, horses, mules, donkeys, camels, big and small cattle beyond counting, and considered (them) booty. Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage. I surrounded him with earthwork in order to molest those who were leaving his city’s gate (Pritchard, 1958a, p. 200).

At least two facts of monumental significance reside in Sennacherib’s statement. First, Sennacherib’s attack on the outlying cities of Judah finds a direct parallel in 2 Chronicles 32:1: “Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities….” The most noteworthy fortified city that the Assyrian despot besieged and captured was the city of Lachish. Second, Sennacherib never mentions that he captured Jerusalem.

Lachish Under Siege

Assyrians attacking the Jewish town of Lachish
Assyrians attack the Jewish fortified town of Lachish. Part of a relief from the palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh. British Museum, London. Credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY.

When we turn to the biblical account of Sennacherib’s Palestinian invasion in 2 Kings 18, we learn that he had advanced against “all the fortified cities of Judah” (vs. 14). At one of those cities, Lachish, King Hezekiah sent tribute money in an attempt to assuage the Assyrian’s wrath. The text states: “Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, ‘I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay’ ” (vs. 14). Of Lachish, Sennacherib demanded 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold, which Hezekiah promptly paid. Not satisfied, however, the Assyrian ruler “sent the Tartan, the Rabsaris, and the Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah” (vs. 17) in an attempt to frighten the denizens of Jerusalem into surrender. The effort failed, “so the Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish” (19:8). From the biblical record, then, we discover very scant information about the battle at Lachish—only that Sennacherib was there, laid siege to the city (2 Chronicles 32:9), and moved on to Libnah upon the completion of his siege.

From Sennacherib’s historical files, however, we get a much more complete account of the events surrounding Lachish. The Assyrian monarch considered his victory at Lachish of such import that he dedicated an entire wall (nearly seventy linear feet) of his palace in Nineveh to carved reliefs depicting the event (Hoerth, p. 350). In the mid-1840s, renowned English archaeologist Henry Layard began extensive excavations in the ruins of ancient Nineveh. He published his initial finds in an 1849 best-selling volume titled Nineveh and Its Remains, and in three subsequent volumes: The Monuments of Nineveh (1849), Inscriptions in the Cuneiform Characters (1851), and Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh (1853) [see Moorey, 1991, pp. 7-12 for more about Layard’s work]. Since Layard’s early discoveries, archaeologists have located and identified thousands of artifacts from at least three different palaces. The remains of ancient Nineveh are located in two mounds on opposite banks of the Hawsar River. One of the mounds, known as Kouyunjik Tepe, contained the remains of the palaces of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal. The other mound, Nebi Younis, held the relics of the palace of Sennacherib. These palaces were built on raised platforms about 75 feet high (Negev and Gibson, 2001, p. 369).

One of the most outstanding artifacts found among the ruins of Nineveh was the wall relief depicting Sennacherib’s defeat of the city of Lachish. Ephraim Stern offered an excellent description of the events pictured in the relief:

The main scene shows the attack on the gate wall of Lachish. The protruding city gate is presented in minute detail, with its crenellations and its special reinforcement by a superstructure of warriors’ shields. The battering rams were moved over specially constructed ramps covered with wooden logs. They were “prefabricated,” four-wheeled, turreted machines. The scene vividly shows frenzied fighting of both attacker and defender in the final stage of battle (2001, 2:5).

Assyrians impaling Jewish prisoners
Assyrian warriors shown impaling Jewish prisoners. Part of a relief from the palace of Sennacherib. British Museum, London. Credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY.

Stern also discussed the flaming firebrands that the defenders of Lachish launched at their attackers, the long-handled, ladle-like instruments used to dowse the front of the battering rams when they were set on fire, slingmen, archers, and assault troops with spears. One of the most striking features of the relief is the depiction of the tortures inflicted on the inhabitants of the Lachish. Several prisoners are pictured impaled on poles, while women and children from the city are led past the victims (Stern, 2:5-6). The epigraph that accompanied the relief read: “Sennacherib, king of the world, king of Assyria, sat upon a nimedu– throne and passed in review the booty (taken) from Lachish (La-ki-su)” [Pritchard, 1958a, p. 201, parenthetical item in orig.].

Of further interest is the fact that archaeological digs at the city of Lachish bear out the details of Sennacherib’s wall relief. Extensive archaeological digs at Lachish from 1935 to 1938 by the British, and again from 1973 to 1987 under Israeli archaeologist David Ussishkin and others, have revealed a treasure trove of artifacts, each of which fits the events depicted by Sennacherib. Concerning the Assyrian siege of Lachish, William Dever noted:

The evidence of it is all there: the enormous sloping siege ramp thrown up against the city walls south of the gate; the double line of defense walls, upslope and downslope; the iron-shod Assyrian battering rams that breached the city wall at its highest point; the massive destruction within the fallen city…. Virtually all the details of the Assyrian reliefs have been confirmed by archaeology…. Also brought to light by the excavators were the double city walls; the complex siege ramp, embedded with hundreds of iron arrowheads and stone ballistae; the counter-ramp inside the city; the destroyed gate, covered by up to 6 ft. of destruction debris; huge boulders from the city wall, burned almost to lime and fallen far down the slope… (2001, pp. 168-169).

The Assyrian monarch’s siege of Lachish is documented by the biblical text, and the destruction of the city is corroborated by the massive carving dedicated to the event in Sennacherib’s palace at Nineveh, as well as the actual artifacts found in stratum III at Lachish.

Jerusalem Stands Strong

Of special interest in Sennacherib’s description of his Palestinian conquest is the fact that he never mentioned seizing the city of Jerusalem. On the Taylor Prism, we find the writings about his conquest of 46 outlying cities, in addition to “walled forts” and “countless small villages.” In fact, we even read that Hezekiah was shut up in Jerusalem as a prisoner “like a bird in a cage.” It also is recorded that Hezekiah sent more tribute to Sennacherib at the end of the campaign (Pritchard, 1958a, pp. 200-201). What is not recorded, however, is any list of booty that was taken from the capital city of Judah. Nor is an inventory of prisoners given in the text of the Taylor Prism. Indeed, one would think that if the city of Lachish deserved so much attention from the Assyrian dictator, then the capital city of Judah would deserve even more.

What we find, however, is complete silence as to the capture of the city. What happened to the vast, conquering army to cause it to buckle at the very point of total victory? Hershel Shanks, author of Jerusalem: An Archaeological Biography, wrote: “…although we don’t know for sure what broke the siege, we do know that the Israelites managed to hold out” (1995, p. 84).

The biblical text, however, offers the answer to this historical enigma. Due to Hezekiah’s faithfulness to the Lord, Jehovah offered His divine assistance to the Judean King. In the book of Isaiah, the prophet was sent to Hezekiah with a message of hope. Isaiah informed Hezekiah that God would stop Sennacherib from entering the city, because Hezekiah prayed to the Lord for assistance. In Isaiah 37:36, the text states: “Then the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh.” Sennacherib could not boast of his victory over the city of Jerusalem—because there was no victory! The Lord had delivered the city out of his hand. In addition, as Dever observed: “Finally, Assyrian records note that Sennacherib did die subsequently at the hands of assassins, his own sons…” (2001, p. 171). Luckenbill records the actual inscription from Esarhaddon’s chronicles that describe the event:

In the month Nisanu, on a favorable day, complying with their exalted command, I made my joyful entrance into the royal palace, an awesome place, wherein abides the fate of kings. A firm determination fell upon my brothers. They forsook the gods and turned to their deeds of violence plotting evil. …To gain the kingship they slew Sennacherib, their father (Luckenbill, 1989, 2:200-201).

These events and artifacts surrounding Hezekiah, Sennacherib, Lachish, and Jerusalem give us an amazing glimpse into the tumultuous relationship between Judah and her neighbors. These facts also provide an excellent example of how archaeology substantiates the biblical account.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BULLAE

The ancient Israelites used several different media to record their information. Among the most popular were scrolls of papyrus and leather. When a scribe had completed writing his information on a scroll, he often would roll the papyrus or leather into a cylinder shape and tie it securely with a string. In order to seal the string even more securely, and to denote the author or sender of the scroll, a bead of soft clay (or soft wax or soft metal) was placed over the string of the scroll. With some type of stamping device, the clay was pressed firmly to the scroll, leaving an inscription in the clay (King and Stager, 2001, p. 307). These clay seals are known as bullae (the plural form of the word bulla). Over the many years of archaeological excavations, hundreds of these bullae have been discovered. TheArchaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land provides an extensive list of bullae that have been unearthed: 50 in Samaria during the 1930s; 17 at Lachish in 1966; 51 in Jerusalem in digs conducted by Yigal Shiloh; 128 in 1962 found in the Wadi ed-Daliyeh Cave and a large cache of 2,000 bullae found in 1998 at Tel Kadesh (Negev and Gibson, 2001, pp. 93-94).

Examples of Bullae
On the left, a bulla with Hebrew writing in a slightly oval impression. On the right, a stamp seal with the name of the owner or scribe. Credit: The Schøyen Collection MS 1912 and MS 5160/1.

Most of the bullae that have been discovered are small, oval, clay stamps that contain the name of the person responsible for the document that was sealed (and occasionally the father of that person), the title or office of the sealer, and/or a picture of an animal or some other artistic rendering. One of the most interesting things about the bullae that have been discovered is the fact that certain names found among the clay seals correspond with biblical references. For instance, from 1978 to 1985, Yigal Shiloh did extensive digging in the city of Jerusalem. In 1982, in a building in Area G of Jerusalem, he discovered a cache of 51 bullae. Because of these clay inscriptions, the building is known in archaeological circles as the “House of Bullae.” This building was burned during the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.Unfortunately, the intense heat of the fires burned all the leather and papyrus scrolls. Yet, even though it destroyed the scrolls, the same fire baked the clay bullae hard and preserved them for posterity (King and Stager, p. 307).

One interesting bulla, and probably the most famous, is connected to the scribe of Jeremiah—Baruch. Hershel Shanks, the editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, gave a detailed account of a landmark cache of over 250 bullae. In October 1975, the first four bullae were purchased by an antiquities dealer in east Jerusalem. The dealer took these bullae to Nahman Avigad, a leading Israeli expert on ancient seals at Hebrew University. More and more bullae came across Avigad’s desk that fit with the others. On more than one occasion, a fragment from one collection would fit with a corresponding fragment from another dealer’s collection. Ultimately, Yoav Sasson, a Jerusalem collector, came to acquire about 200 of the bullae, and Reuben Hecht obtained 49 pieces (Shanks, 1987, pp. 58-65).

The names on two of these bullae have captivated the archaeological world for several decades now. On one of the bulla, the name “Berekhyahu son of Neriyahu the scribe,” is clearly impressed. Shanks wrote concerning this inscription: “The common suffix –yahu in ancient Hebrew names, especially in Judah, is a form of Yahweh. Baruch means “the blessed.” Berekhyahu means “blessed of Yahweh.” An equivalent form to –yahu is –yah, traditionally rendered as “-iah” in our English translations. Neriah is actually Neri-yah or Neriyahu. Eighty of the 132 names represented in the hoard (many names appear more than once on the 250 bullae) include the theophoric element –yahu (1987, p. 61). Shanks (along with the general consensus of archaeological scholars) concluded that the bulla belonged to Baruch, the scribe of Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 36:4, the text reads: “Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah….” The name on the bulla corresponds well with the name in Jeremiah. Concerning the bulla, Hoerth wrote: “This lump of clay…used to close a papyrus document, was sealed by none other than ‘Baruch son of Neriah’ (Jer. 36:4). Baruch’s name here carries a suffix abbreviation for God, indicating that his full name meant ‘blessed of God’ ” (1998, p. 364).

To multiply the evidence that this inscription was indeed the Baruch of Jeremiah fame, another of the inscriptions from a bulla in the cache documented the title “Yerahme’el, son of the king.” This name corresponds to King Jehoiakim’s son “who was sent on the unsuccessful mission to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah” (Shanks, 1987, p. 61). Indeed, the biblical text so states: “And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son…to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them” (Jeremiah 36:26). In commenting on the bulla, Amihai Mazar, who is among the most noted of archaeologists, stated in regard to Jerahmeel the king’s son: “We presume [he] was Jehoiakim’s son sent to arrest Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:26)” [1992, pp. 519-520]. [As a side note, the Hebrew letter yod is represented by Y and J, which often are used interchangeably in the English transliteration of Hebrew names—a fact that can be seen easily in the Hebrew name for God, which is written variously as Yahweh or Jehovah.] Another bulla in the hoard contained the title “Elishama, servant of the king.” And in Jeremiah 36:12, the text mentioned a certain “Elishama the scribe.” While professor Avigad thinks it would be a dubious connection, since he believes the biblical text would not drop the title “servant of the king” (because of its prestige), Shanks commented: “I would not reject the identification so easily” (1987, p. 62).

One of the names inscribed on a bulla was the Hebrew name “Gemaryahu [Gemariah] the son of Shaphan.” Price noted: “This name, which appears a few times in the book of Jeremiah, was the name of the scribe who served in the court of King Jehoiakim” (1998, p. 235). Jeremiah 36:10 records that Jeremiah’s scribe, Baruch, read from the words of the prophet “in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe….” It also is interesting to note that Gemariah was a scribe, which would have put him in precisely the position to produce bullae. Also among the collection from the “House of Bullae” was a bulla that was sealed with the name “Azaryahu son of Hilqiyahu”—a name that easily corresponds with Azariah son of Hilkiah found in 1 Chronicles 9:10-11 (Laughlin, 2000, p. 153).

We have then, among this phenomenal cache of bullae (which dates to the time of the events in the book of Jeremiah), two names and titles that correspond almost identically to Baruch, the son of Neriah, plus Jerahmeel, the son of Jehoiakim, and a third, Elishama, whose name appears in Jeremiah 36. What, then, does this prove? While it is the case that several men in ancient Israel could be named Baruch or Jerahmeel, it becomes almost absurd to suggest that these bullae just happen “coincidentally” to correspond so well to the biblical text. Such evidence points overwhelming to the accuracy of the biblical text and its historical verifiability. At the very least, such finds demonstrate these biblical names to be authentic for the time period. [As an added note of interest on the Baruch bulla, Shanks wrote a follow-up article in Biblical Archaeological Review in 1996, in which he discussed another bulla with Baruch’s title on it that also contains a fingerprint—possibly of the scribe himself. This bulla is in the private collection of a well-known collector named Shlomo Maussaieff (Shanks, 1996, pp. 36-38).]

THE MOABITE STONE

Another important archaeological find verifying the historicity of the biblical account is known as the Moabite Stone. It is true that writing about a rock that was discovered almost 150 years ago certainly would not fit in a current “in the news” section. In fact, so much has been written about this stone since 1868 that very few new articles pertaining to it have come to light. But the real truth of the matter is that, even though it was discovered more than a century ago, many people do not even know it exists, and thus need to be reminded of its importance.

The Moabite StoneThe find is known as the Moabite Stone, or the Mesha Inscription, since it was written by Mesha, King of Moab. A missionary named F.A. Klein first discovered the stone in August of 1868 (Edersheim, n.d., p. 109). When he initially saw the black basalt stone, it measured approximately 3.5 feet high and 2 feet wide. Upon learning of Klein’s adventure, a French scholar by the name of Clermont-Ganneau located the antiquated piece of rock, and copied eight lines from the stone. He then had an impression (known as a “squeeze”) made of the writing on its surface. A squeeze is made by placing a soggy piece of paper over the inscription, which then retains the form of the inscription when it dries (Pritchard, 1958b, p. 105). From that point, the details surrounding the stone are not quite as clear. Apparently (for reasons unknown), the Arabs who were in possession of the stone decided to shatter it. [Some have suggested that they thought the stone was a religious talisman of some sort, or that they could get more money selling the stone in pieces. However, LeMaire claims that these reasons are “apocryphal,” and suggests that the Arabs broke it because they hated the Ottomans, who were attempting to purchase the stone (1994, p. 34).] By heating it in fire and then pouring cold water on it, they succeeded in breaking the stone into several pieces. The pieces ended up being scattered, but eventually about two-thirds of the original stone ended up being relocated, and currently reside at the Louvre in Paris (Jacobs and McCurdy, 2002).

The written inscription on the stone provides a piece of outstanding evidence that verifies the Bible’s accuracy. Mesha, had the stone cut in c. 850 B.C. to relate his numerous conquests and his reacquisition of certain territories that were controlled by Israel. In the over 30-line text (composed of approximately 260 words), Mesha mentioned that Omri was the king of Israel who had oppressed Moab, but then Mesha says he “saw his desire upon” Omri’s son and upon “his house.” Mesha wrote:

I (am) Mesha, son of Chemosh-[…], king of Moab, the Dibonite—my father (had) reigned over Moab thirty years, and I reigned after my father,—(who) made this high place for Chemosh in Qarhoh […] because he saved me from all the kings and caused me to triumph over all my adversaries. As for Omri, king of Israel, he humbled Moab many years (lit., days), for Chemosh was angry at his land. And his son followed him and he also said, “I will humble Moab.” In my time he spoke (thus), but I have triumphed over him and over his house, while Israel hath perished forever (Pritchard, 1958a, p. 209).

The Mesha stele cites Omri as the king of Israel, just as 1 Kings 16:21-28 indicates. Furthermore, it mentions Ahab, Omri’s son, in close connection with the Moabites, as does 2 Kings 3:4-6. In addition, both the stele and 2 Kings 3:4-6 list Mesha as King of Moab. Later in the inscription, the stele further names the Israelite tribe of Gad, and the Israelite God, Yahweh. While the references to the Israelite kings are quite notable in and of themselves, Pritchard has pointed out that this reference to Yahweh is one of the few that have been found outside of Palestine proper (1958b, p. 106).

Another important feature of the Moabite stone is the fact that it “gave the solution to a question that had gone unanswered for centuries.” The biblical record chronicles the Moabite subjugation under King David and King Solomon, and how the Moabites broke free at the beginning of the divided kingdom. However, the Bible also mentions (2 Kings 3:4) that Ahab was receiving tribute from Moab. As Alfred Hoerth has remarked: “Nowhere does the Bible state how or when Moab was reclaimed, for Ahab to be receiving such tribute. The Moabite Stone provides that information, telling, as it does, of Omri’s conquest from the Moabite point of view” (1998, p. 310).

From the end of the quoted portion of the Mesha Inscription (“while Israel hath perished forever”), it is obvious that Mesha exaggerated the efficacy of his conquest—a common practice among ancient kings. Pritchard noted that historians agree that “the Moabite chroniclers tended generally, and quite understandably, to ignore their own losses and setbacks” (1958b, p. 106). Free and Vos document the works of John D. Davies and S.L. Caiger, which offer a harmonization of the Moabite text with the biblical record. Davies, formerly of the Princeton University Seminary, accurately observed: “Mesha is in no wise contradicting, but only unintentionally supplementing the Hebrew account” (as quoted in Free and Vos, 1992, p. 161).

As a further point of interest, French scholar André LeMaire, in an extensive article in Biblical Archaeology Review, “identified the reading of the name David in a formerly unreadable line, ‘House of D…,’ on the Mesha Stele (or Moabite Stone)” [Price, 1997, p. 171; see also LeMaire, 1994, pp. 30-37]. Whether or not this identification is accurate, has yet to be verified by scholarly consensus. Even liberal scholars Finkelstein and Silberman, however, acknowledged LaMaire’s identification, along with the Tel Dan inscription documenting the House of David, and concluded: “Thus, the house of David was known throughout the region; this clearly validates the biblical description of a figure named David becoming the founder of the dynasty of Judahite kings in Jerusalem” (2001, p. 129).

Taken as a whole, the Moabite stone remains one of the most impressive pieces of evidence verifying the historical accuracy of the Old Testament. And, although this find has been around almost 150 years, it “still speaks” to us today (Hebrews 11:4).

Cyrus Cylinder

THE CYRUS CYLINDER

Cyrus, King of the Medo-Persian Empire, is among the most important foreign rulers of the Israelite nation. In fact, many Old Testament prophecies revolve around this monarch. The prophet Isaiah documented that the Babylonian Empire would fall to the Medes and the Persians (Isaiah 13; 21:1-10). Not only did Isaiah detail the particular empire to which the Babylonians would fall, but he also called Cyrus by name (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-5). Amazingly, Isaiah’s prophecy was made roughly 150 years before Cyrus was born(Isaiah prophesied in about 700 B.C.; Cyrus took the city of Babylon in 539 B.C.). To add to Cyrus’ significance, Isaiah predicted that Cyrus would act as the Lord’s “shepherd.” In fact, Isaiah recorded these words of the Lord concerning Cyrus: “And he shall perform all My pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid’ ” (Isaiah 44:28).

In 1879, Hormoz Rasam found a small clay cylinder (about nine inches long, and now residing in the British Museum) in the ancient city of Babylon. Upon the clay cylinder, King Cyrus had inscribed, among other things, his victory over the city of Babylon and his policy toward the nations he had captured, as well as his policy toward their various gods and religions. Price recorded a translation of a segment of the cuneiform text found on the cylinder:

…I returned to [these] sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris, the sanctuaries of which have been in ruins for a long time, the images which [used] to live therein and established for them permanent sanctuaries. I [also] gathered all their [former] inhabitants and returned [to them] their habitations. Furthermore, I resettled upon the command of Marduk the great lord, all the gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabonidus has brought into Babylon to the anger of the lord of the gods, unharmed, in their [former] chapels, the places which made them happy. May all the gods who I have resettled in their sacred cities ask daily Bel and Nebo for long life for me and may they recommend me…to Marduk, my lord, may they say thus: Cyrus, the king who worships you and Cambyses, his son, […] all of them I settled in a peaceful place (pp. 251-252).

The policy, often hailed as Cyrus’ declaration of human rights, coincides with the biblical account of the ruler’s actions, in which Cyrus decreed that the temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt, and that all the exiled Israelites who wished to join in the venture had his permission and blessing to do so (Ezra 1:1-11). The little nine-inch-long clay cylinder stands as impressive testimony—along with several other archaeological finds—to the historical accuracy of the biblical text.

CONCLUSION

The archaeological evidence presented in this article that confirms biblical history is, in truth, only a tiny fraction of the evidence that could be amassed along these lines. In fact, volumes of hundreds of pages each have been produced on such matters, and with every new find comes additional information that will fill archaeology texts for decades to come. The more we uncover the past, the more we discover the truth that the Bible is the most trustworthy, historically accurate document ever produced. As the poet John Greenleaf Whittier once wrote:

We search the world for truth; we cull the good, the pure, the beautiful, from all the old flower fields of the soul; and, weary seekers of the best, we come back laden from our quest, to find that all the sages said is in the Book our mothers read.

REFERENCES

Dever, William (2001), What did the Bible Writers Know and When did They Know It? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Edersheim, Albert (no date), The Bible History—Old Testament, Book VI (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Finkelstein, Israel and Neil Silberman (2001), The Bible Unearthed (New York: Simon & Schuster).

Free, Joseph P. and Howard F. Vos (1992), Archaeology and Bible History (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

Hanson, K.C. (2002), Sennacherib Prism, [On-line], URL: http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/meso/sennprism1.html.

Hoerth, Alfred J. (1998), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Jacobs, Joseph and J. Frederick McCurdy (2002), “Moabite Stone,” Jewish Encyclopedia.com,[On-line], URL: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=680&letter=M.

King, Philip J. and Lawrence E. Stager (2001), Life in Biblical Israel (in the Library of Ancient Israelseries), ed. Douglas A. Knight (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press).

Laughlin, John C.H. (2000), Archaeology and the Bible (New York: Routledge).

LeMaire, André (1994), “House of David Restored in Moabite Inscription,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 20[3]:30-37, May/June.

Luckenbill, Daniel D. (1989), Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylon (London: Histories and Mysteries of Man Ltd.).

Mazar, Amihai (1992), Archaeology of the Land of the Bible (New York: Doubleday).

Moorey, P.R.S. (1991), A Century of Biblical Archaeology (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press).

Negev, Avraham and Shimon Gibson (2001), Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land (New York: Continuum).

Price, Randall (1997), The Stones Cry Out (Eugene, OR: Harvest House).

Pritchard, James B., ed. (1958a), The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

Pritchard, James B. (1958b), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

Shanks, Hershel (1987), “Jeremiah’s Scribe and Confidant Speaks from a Hoard of Clay Bullae,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 13[5]:58-65, September/October.

Shanks, Hershel (1995), Jerusalem: An Archaeological Biography (New York: Random House).

Shanks, Hershel (1996), “Fingerprint of Jeremiah’s Scribe,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 22[2]:36-38, March/April.

Stern, Ephraim (2001), Archaeology and the Land of the Bible: The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Periods (732-332 B.C.E.) (New York: Doubleday).

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The answer to finding out more about God is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Please consider taking time to read Isaiah chapter 53 and if you have any interest then watch the You Tube clip “The Biography of the King” by Adrian Rogers which discusses that chapter in depth.

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.

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(This material below is under footnote #94)

The site of the biblical city called Lachish is about thirty miles southwest of Jerusalem. This city is referred to on a number of occasions in the Old Testament. Imagine a busy city with high walls surrounding it, and a gate in front that is the only entrance to the city. We know so much about Lachish from archaeological studies that a reconstruction of the whole city has been made in detail. This can be seen at the British Museum in the Lachish Room in the Assyrian section.

There is also a picture made by artists in the eighth century before Christ, the Lachish Relief, which was discovered in the city of Nineveh in the ancient Assyria. In this picture we can see the Jewish inhabitants of Lachish surrendering to Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. The details in the picture and the Assyrian writing on it give the Assyrian side of what the Bible tells us in Second Kings:

2 Kings 18:13-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear.” So the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver which was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

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We should notice two things about this. First, this is a real-life situation–a real siege of a real city with real people on both sides of the war–and it happened at a particular date in history, near the turn of the eighth century B.C. Second, the two accounts of this incident in 701 B.C. (the account from the Bible and the Assyrian account from Nineveh) do not contradict, but rather confirm each other. The history of Lachish itself is not so important for us, but some of its smaller historical details.

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 144 Paul Rabinow, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California (Berkeley), “I am not a believer or a theist,…never felt the need to go [into that debate]”

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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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Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

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There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I hope to respond to all of them.

Paul Rabinow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paul Rabinow
Paul Rabinow à l'Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris.jpg

Portrait of Paul M. Rabinow, made in 2002 by Saâd A. Tazi, at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, during his Blaise Pascal professorship.
Born June 21, 1944 (age 73)
Florida, United States
Citizenship American
Fields Cultural Anthropology
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Alma mater University of Chicago
Doctoral advisor Clifford Geertz
Influences Michel FoucaultRichard McKeon

Paul Rabinow (born June 21, 1944) is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California (Berkeley), Director of the Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory (ARC), and former Director of Human Practices for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC). He is perhaps most famous for his widely influential commentary and expertise on the French philosopher Michel Foucault.

His major works include Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco (1977 and 2007), Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (1983) (with Hubert Dreyfus), The Foucault Reader (1984), French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment (1989), Making PCR: A Story of Biotechnology (1993), Essays on the Anthropology of Reason (1996), Anthropos Today: Reflections on Modern Equipment (2003), and Marking Time: On the Anthropology of the Contemporary (2007).

Biographical details[edit]

Rabinow was born in Florida but moved as a small child to New York City. He lived in Sunnyside, Queens and attended Stuyvessant High School [1]. Rabinow received his B.A. (1965), M.A. (1967), and Ph.D. (1970) in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He studied at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris (1965–66). He received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1980); was a visiting Fulbright Professor at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro (1987); taught at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1986) as well as the École Normale Supérieure (1997) was a visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Iceland (1999). He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Science Foundation Professional Development Fellowships (for training in molecular biology). He is co-founder of the Berkeley Program in French Cultural Studies. He was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 1998. He received the University of Chicago Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award in 2000. He was awarded the visiting Chaire Internationale de Recherche Blaise Pascal at the École Normale Supérieure for 2001-2. STICERD Distinguished Visiting Professor- BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and SocietyLondon School of Economics (2004)

Overview[edit]

Rabinow is known for his development of an “anthropology of reason”. If anthropology is understood as being composed of anthropos + logos, then anthropology can be taken up as a practice of studying how the mutually productive relations of knowledge, thought, and care are given form within shifting relations of power. More recently, Rabinow has developed a distinctive approach to what he calls an “anthropology of the contemporary” that moves methodologically beyond modernity as an object of study or as a metric to order all inquiries.

Rabinow is well known for conceptual work drawing on French, German and American traditions. He was a close interlocutor of Michel Foucault, and has edited and interpreted Foucault’s work as well as ramifying it in new directions.

Rabinow’s work has consistently confronted the challenge of inventing and practicing new forms of inquiry, writing, and ethics for the human sciences. He argues that currently the dominant knowledge production practices, institutions, and venues for understanding things human in the 21st century are inadequate institutionally and epistemologically. In response, he has designed modes of experimentation and collaboration consisting in focused concept work and the explorations of new forms of case-based inquiry.

Rabinow has also devoted a great deal of energy to the invention of new venues, adjacent to the existing university structures, diagnosing the university’s disciplinary organization and career patterns as among the major impediment to 21st century thought. In view of the fact that the organization and practices of the social sciences and humanities in the U.S. university system have changed little in recent decades, they are unlikely to facilitate the composition of contemporary equipment. Rabinow has called for the creation of venues that are adjacent to, but more flexible than, the university and the existing disciplinary structure. He has played leading roles in the design of two such organizations, the Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory (ARC), and the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC).

The Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory was founded by Paul Rabinow, Stephen Collier, and Andrew Lakoff as part of an effort to create new forms of inquiry in the human sciences. Its aspiration is to create models for new infrastructures, tools of collaboration, and practices of inquiry. The core of the ARC collaboratory is ongoing reflection and communication in a now broadening network of scholars about concept formation and collaboratory work in the human sciences. ARC is a collaboratory for inquiry into contemporary forms of life, labor, and language. ARC engages in empirical study and conceptual work with global reach and long-term perspective. ARC creates contemporary equipment for collaborative work adequate to emergent challenges in the 21st century. ARC’s current concerns focus on interconnections among security, ethics, and the sciences.

 

His comments can be found on the 3rd video and the 118th clip in this series. Below the videos you will find his words.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Quote from Paul Rabinow:

In other words I am not a believer or a theist, but I am not also a militant atheist. I think that debate leads into a range of different and diverse existential corners that I don’t want to go to and never felt the need to go to.

More lengthy quote from Paul Rabinow:

on religious belief – don’t believe in God; there are passages in Levi-Strauss’ ‘Tristes Tropiques’ on Buddhism which are relatively close to what I felt much more strongly as a younger person; this question is interesting because in recent years I have been working with a student who has just finished a degree in theology and is now doing a degree in anthropology; he is a practising Christian and we get along remarkably well, discussing ethics etc., but it is clear that the larger theist dimensions are radically disparate; this is an interesting anthropological dimension where ethically this seems to not cause any problem; I frequently related to people with strong but quiet religious beliefs; Michel de Certeau was a Jesuit and I had a number of other Jesuit friends; I think it is the fact that they care about the world and other people, are thoughtful, committed and concerned, and I don’t have to share other parts of their belief system while finding them worthy of friendship; I am uninterested in the Dawkins’ argument of science disproving religion, I am not a positivist, there is a big difference between this form of nineteenth century militant positivism and a Weberian position in which science does not answer ultimate questions; when science becomes a world view, a cosmology, it seems to part company with its deep critical functions; I may not be a believer or theist, but I am not a militant atheist; I also part company with people like Jurgen Habermas or Charles Taylor who feel that unless we have sure foundations for our ethical life that we flounder, which seems wrong; no one has ever proved the ultimate foundations of anything to everyone’s satisfaction yet ethical life and decent human relations seem to me not all that common, but not impossible either; I am not looking for ultimate stopping points, and there is some anthropological dimension to that through respect for the complexity of different commitments; cosmopolitan enlightenment sense that we have to live with difference which can be a good thing, and that intolerance –even in the name of tolerance — is not so admirable.

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

Some atheists claim like Dr. Rabinow that they have never felt inside that there was anything telling him that there is a God that created him. However, the Bible says in Romans that everyone knows in their heart that God exists. AND THAT THERE IS  A GOD THAT CREATED THE WORLD AND PUT THAT CONSCIENCE IN EVERYONE’S HEART THAT BEARS WITNESS THAT HE CREATED THEM FOR A PURPOSE?

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.”

CSICOP experts commented 15 years ago on a lie-detector’s ability to detect one’s repressed belief in God!!!!

In the book, THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.  Sagan writes:

The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal is an organization of scientists, academics, magicians, and others dedicated to skeptical scrutiny of emerging or full-blown pseudo-sciences. It was founded by the University of Buffalo philosopher Paul Kurtz in 1976. I’ve been affiliated with it since its beginning. Its acronym, CSICOP, is pronounced sci-cop C as if it’s an organization of scientists performing a police function  CSICOP publishes a bimonthly periodical called The Skeptical Inquirer. On the day it arrives, I take it home from the office and pore through its pages, wondering what new misunderstandings will be revealed (p. 299).

Back in the late 1990’s I corresponded with many scholars from CSICOP concerning the lie-detector’s ability to detect one’s repressed belief in God. I have a good friend who is a street preacher who preaches on the Santa Monica Promenade in California and during the Q/A sessions he does have lots of atheists that enjoy their time at the mic. When this happens he  always quotes Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s 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. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). Then he  tells the atheist that the atheist already knows that God exists but he has been suppressing that knowledge in unrighteousness. This usually infuriates the atheist.

My friend draws some large crowds at times and was thinking about setting up a lie detector test and see if atheists actually secretly believe in God. He discussed this project with me since he knew that I had done a lot of research on the idea about 20 years ago.

Nelson Price in THE EMMANUEL FACTOR (1987) tells the story about Brown Trucking Company in Georgia who used to give polygraph tests to their job applicants. However, in part of the test the operator asked, “Do you believe in God?” In every instance when a professing atheist answered “No,” the test showed the person to be lying. My pastor Adrian Rogers used to tell this same story to illustrate Romans 1:19 and it was his conclusion that “there is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

It is true that polygraph tests for use in hiring were banned by Congress in 1988.  Mr and Mrs Claude Brown on Aug 25, 1994  wrote me a letter confirming that over 15,000 applicants previous to 1988 had taken the polygraph test and EVERY TIME SOMEONE SAID THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD, THE MACHINE SAID THEY WERE LYING.

It had been difficult to catch up to the Browns. I had heard about them from Dr. Rogers’ sermon but I did not have enough information to locate them. Dr. Rogers referred me to Dr. Nelson Price and Dr. Price’s office told me that Claude Brown lived in Atlanta. After writing letters to all 9 of the entries for Claude Brown in the Atlanta telephone book, I finally got in touch with the Browns.

Adrian Rogers also pointed out that the Bible does not recognize the theoretical atheist.  Psalms 14:1: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  Dr Rogers notes, “The fool is treating God like he would treat food he did not desire in a cafeteria line. ‘No broccoli for me!’ ” In other words, the fool just doesn’t want God in his life and is a practical atheist, but not a theoretical atheist. Charles Ryrie in the The Ryrie Study Bible came to the same conclusion on this verse.

Here are the conclusions of the experts I wrote in the secular world concerning the lie detector test and it’s ability to get at the truth:

Professor Frank Horvath of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University has testified before Congress concerning the validity of the polygraph machine. He has stated on numerous occasions that “the evidence from those who have actually been affected by polygraph testing in the workplace is quite contrary to what has been expressed by critics. I give this evidence greater weight than I give to the most of the comments of critics” (letter to me dated October 6, 1994).

There was no better organization suited to investigate this claim concerning the lie detector test than the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). This organization changed their name to the Committe for Skeptical Inquiry in 2006. This organization includes anyone who wants to help debunk the whole ever-expanding gamut of misleading, outlandish, and fraudulent claims made in the name of science.

I read The Skeptical Review(publication of CSICOP) for several years during the 90’s and I would write letters to these scientists about taking this project on and putting it to the test.  Below are some of  their responses (15 to 20 years old now):

1st Observation: Religious culture of USA could have influenced polygraph test results.
ANTONY FLEW  (formerly of Reading University in England, now deceased, in a letter to me dated 8-11-96) noted, “For all the evidence so far available seems to be of people from a culture in which people are either directly brought up to believe in the existence of God or at least are strongly even if only unconsciously influenced by those who do. Even if everyone from such a culture revealed unconscious belief, it would not really begin to show that — as Descartes maintained— the idea of God is so to speak the Creator’s trademark, stamped on human souls by their Creator at their creation.”

2nd Observation: Polygraph Machines do not work. JOHN R. COLE, anthropologist, editor, National Center for Science Education, Dr. WOLF RODER, professor of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Dr. SUSAN BLACKMORE,Dept of Psychology, University of the West of England, Dr. CHRISTOPHER C. FRENCH, Psychology Dept, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Dr.WALTER F. ROWE, The George Washington University, Dept of Forensic Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

3rd Observation: The sample size probably was not large enough to apply statistical inference. (These gentlemen made the following assertion before I received the letter back from Claude Brown that revealed that the sample size was over 15,000.) JOHN GEOHEGAN, Chairman of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, Dr. WOLF RODER, and Dr WALTER F. ROWE (in a letter dated July 12, 1994) stated, “The polygraph operator for Brown Trucking Company has probably examined only a few hundred or a few thousand job applicants. I would surmise that only a very small number of these were actually atheists. It seems a statistically insignificant (and distinctly nonrandom) sampling of the 5 billion human beings currently inhabiting the earth. Dr. Nelson Price also seems to be impugning the integrity of anyone who claims to be an atheist in a rather underhanded fashion.”

4th Observation: The question (Do you believe in God?)  was out of place and it surprised the applicants. THOMAS GILOVICH, psychologist, Cornell Univ., Dr. ZEN FAULKES, professor of Biology, University of Victoria (Canada), ROBERT CRAIG, Head of Indiana Skeptics Organization, Dr. WALTER ROWE, 
 
5th Observation: Proof that everyone believes in God’s existence does not prove that God does in fact exist. PAUL QUINCEY, Nathional Physical Laboratory,(England), Dr. CLAUDIO BENSKI, Schneider Electric, CFEPP, (France),
6th Observation: Both the courts and Congress recognize that lie-detectors don’t work and that is why they were banned in 1988.  (Governments and the military still use them.)
Dr WALTER ROWE, KATHLEEN M. DILLION, professor of Psychology, Western New England College.
7th Observation:This information concerning Claude Brown’s claim has been passed on to us via a tv preacher and eveybody knows that they are untrustworthy– look at their history. WOLF RODER.
______________
Gene Emery, science writer for Providence Journal-Bulletin is a past winner of the CSICOP “Responsibility in Journalism Award” and he had the best suggestion of all when he suggested, “Actually, if you want to make a good case about whether Romans 1:19 is true, arrange to have a polygraph operator (preferably an atheist or agnostic) brought to the next CSICOP meeting. (I’m not a member of CSICOP, by the way, so I can’t give you an official invitation or anything.) If none of the folks at that meeting can convince the machine that they truly believe in God, maybe there is, in fact, an innate willingness to believe in God.”
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Let me share a story from a former atheist named Jamie Lash:

DOES GOD BELIEVE IN ATHEISTS?

 

I grew up as an atheist. I thought that the reason I didn’t believe was the lack of evidence that I could see or touch. I kept asking God to show me a sign if He was really there. He didn’t. Despite nine months of searching, I was just as alienated from God as I had ever been.

I remember the shock it was when God revealed to me that what I thought was the obstacle wasn’t the obstacle at all! The obstacle was pride and hardness of heart. It wasn’t a head problem; it was a heart problem. I had to come to the place where I was willing to let God be God over my life. Was I willing to confess (i.e. admit) that Jesus is Lord?

Years ago Adrian Rogers counseled with a NASA scientist and his severely depressed wife. The wife pointed to her husband and said, “My problem is him.” She went on to explain that her husband was a drinker, a liar, and an adulterer. Dr. Rogers asked the man if he were a Christian. “No!” the man laughed. “I’m an atheist.”

“Really?” Dr. Rogers replied. “That means you’re someone who knows that God does not exist.”

“That’s right,” said the man.

“Would it be fair to say that you don’t know all there is to know in the universe?”

“Of course.”

“Would it be generous to say you know half of all there is to know?”

“Yes.”

“Wouldn’t it be possible that God’s existence might be in the half you don’t know?”

“Okay, but I don’t think He exists.”

“Well then, you’re not an atheist; you’re an agnostic. You’re a doubter.”

“Yes, and I’m a big one.”

“It doesn’t matter what size you are. I want to know what kind you are.”

“What kinds are there?”

“There are honest doubters and dishonest doubters. An honest doubter is willing to search out the truth and live by the results; a dishonest doubter doesn’t want to know the truth. He can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.”

“I want to know the truth.”

“Would you like to prove that God exists?”

“It can’t be done.”

“It can be done. You’ve just been in the wrong laboratory. Jesus said, ‘If any man’s will is to do His will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority’ (John 7:17). I suggest you read one chapter of the book of John each day, but before you do, pray something like this, ‘God, I don’t know if You’re there, I don’t know if the Bible is true, I don’t know if Jesus is Your Son. But if You show me that You are there, that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is Your Son, then I will follow You. My will is to do your will.”

The man agreed. About three weeks later he returned to Dr. Rogers’s office and invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord.

A man might be convinced that he’s being very sincere in his search for God, but until he humbles himself, he will never find Him.

                 

— Jamie Lash  

A Brief Sample of Old Testament Archaeological Corroboration

A Brief Sample of Old Testament Archaeological CorroborationI’ve learned to test witnesses in my criminal investigations before trusting their testimony, and I evaluate them with the template we typically use in jury trials. One dimension of this template is corroboration: Is there any verifying evidence supporting the claims of the eyewitness? Corroborative evidence is what I refer to as “touch point” evidence. I don’t expect a surveillance video confirming every statement made by a witness, but I do expect small “touch point” corroborations. The authors of the Bible make a variety of historical claims, and many of these claims are corroborated by archaeological evidence. Archaeology is notoriously partial and incomplete, but it does offer us “touch point” verification of many Biblical claims. Here are just a few of the more impressive findings related to the Old Testament:

Related to the Customs of the Patriarchs
Critics of the Old Testament have argued against the historicity of the books of Moses, doubting the authenticity of many of the stories found in Genesis (and sometimes rejecting the authorship of Moses along the way). Skeptics doubted primitive people groups were capable of recording history with any significant detail, and they questioned the existence of many of the people and cities mentioned in the oldest of Biblical accounts. When the Ebla archive was discovered in Syria (modern Tell Mardikh) in the 1970′s, many of these criticisms became less reasonable. During the excavations of the Ebla palace in 1975, the excavators found a large library filled with tablets dating from 2400 -2300 BC. These tablets confirmed many of the personal titles and locations described in the patriarchal Old Testament accounts.

For years, critics also believed the name “Canaan” was used incorrectly in the early books of the Bible, doubting the term was used at this time in history and suspecting it was a late insertion (or evidence of late authorship). But “Canaan” appears in the Ebla tablets. The term was used in ancient Syria during the time in which the Old Testament was written. Critics were also skeptical of the word, “Tehom” (“the deep” in Genesis 1:2), believing it was also a late addition or evidence again of late authorship. But “Tehom” was also part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use 800 years before Moses. In fact, there is a creation record in the Ebla Tablets remarkably similar to the Genesis account. In addition, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (once thought to be fictional) are also identified in the Ebla tablets, as well as the city of Haran. This latter city is described in Genesis as the city of Abram’s father, Terah. Prior to this discovery, critics doubted the existence of this ancient city. The Ebla discovery confirmed the locations of several ancient cities, corroborated the use of several terms and titles, and confirmed ancient people were capable of being eloquent and conscientious historians.

Related to the Hittites
The historicity and cultural customs of the Patriarchs have also been corroborated in clay tablets uncovered in the cities of Nuzi, Mari and Bogazkoy. Archaeological discoveries in these three cities have confirmed the existence of the Hittites. These findings also revealed an example of an ancient king with an incredible concentration of wealth. Prior to this discovery, skeptics doubted such ancient affluence was possible and considered the story of Solomon to be greatly exaggerated. This discovery provided an example of such a situation, however. Solomon’s prosperity is now considered to be entirely feasible.

Related to Sargon
The historicity of the Assyrian king, Sargon (recorded in Isaiah 20:1) has also been confirmed, in spite of the fact his name was not seen in any non-Biblical record. Archeology again proved the Biblical account to be true when Sargon’s palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. More importantly, the event mentioned in Isaiah 20, Sargon’s capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls, confirming the history recorded in Old Testament Scripture. Fragments of a stela (an inscribed stone pillar) were also found at Ashdod. This stela was originally carved to memorialize the victory of Sargon.

Related to Belshazzar
Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was another historic king doubted by critics. Belshazzar is named in Daniel 5, but according to the non-Biblical historic record, the last king of Babylon was Nabonidus. Tablets have been discovered, however, describing Belshazzar as Nabonidus’ son and documenting his service as coregent in Babylon. If this is the case, Belshazzar would have been able to appoint Daniel “third highest ruler in the kingdom” for reading the handwriting on the wall (as recorded in Daniel 5:16). This would have been the highest available position for Daniel. Here, once again, we see the historicity of the Biblical record has been confirmed by archaeology.

Related to Nebo-Sarsekim
It’s not just kings and well-known figures who have been verified by archeology over the years. There are thousands of “lesser known,” relatively unimportant characters in the Bible who would easily be overlooked if archeology did not continue to verify them. One such person is Nebo-Sarsekim. Nebo-Sarsekim is mentioned in the Bible in Chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah. According to Jeremiah, this man was Nebuchadnezzar II’s “chief officer” and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city. Many skeptics have doubted this claim, but in July of 2007, Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, discovered Nebo-Sarsekim’s name (Nabu-sharrussu-ukin) written on an Assyrian cuneiform tablet. This tablet was used as a receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin’s payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon, and it described Nebo-Sarsekim as “the chief eunuch” of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon. The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of Jerusalem, once again verifying the dating and record of the Old Testament.

Related to Nehemiah’s Wall
Skeptical historians once doubted the historicity of Nehemiah’s account of the restoration of Jerusalem that is found in the Bible. Nehemiah lived during the period when Judah was a province of the Persian Empire, and he arrived in Jerusalem as governor in 445 BC. With the permission of the Persian king, he decided to rebuild and restore the city after the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians (which occurred a century earlier, in 586 BC). The Book of Nehemiah records the completion of this wall in just 52 days, and many historians did not believe this to be true, since the wall itself was never discovered. But in November of 2007, the remnants of the wall were uncovered in an archaeological excavation in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David, strengthening concurrent claims King David’s palace was also found at the site. Experts now agree that the wall has been discovered along with the palace. Once again the Old Testament has been corroborated.

Archaeology is an ever-developing discipline, providing new insight into the past with every new discovery. Many of these findings are featured at the Biblical Archaeology Society and at other similar sources. The claims of Judaism and Christianity are more than proverbial insights; they are claims about the historic past. As such, they can be verified or falsified. Archeology is one way we can test the claims of the Old and New Testament, and this discipline continues to provide “touch point” corroborative evidence affirming the claims of the Bible.

 

Related Posts In This Series:

Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: A Trustworthy Process of Transmission
Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: A Timely Test of Transmission
Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: The Ardent Testimony of the Ancients
The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old Testament
From Reliable to Divine: Fulfilled Prophecy in the Old Testament

 

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity

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– See more at: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/a-brief-sample-of-old-testament-archaeological-corroboration/#sthash.XYt8QHnn.dpuf

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

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

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

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

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

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 143, Bede Rundle, Philosophy Dept, Trinity College, Oxford, “God or any other supernatural agent doesn’t have what it takes to act upon physical things”

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Harry Kroto pictured below:

_________________

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

________________

Bede Rundle Why is There Something Rather than Nothing

 

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Image result for Bede Rundle

Philosopher in the tradition of Aristotle, Kant and Wittgenstein
Bede Rundle
Bede Rundle, left, taught at Trinity College, Oxford, for 40 years.

The New Zealand-born philosopher Bede Rundle, who has died aged 74, taught for 40 years at Trinity College, Oxford, and made substantial contributions to the philosophy of language, mind and action, to metaphysics and to philosophical theology. He defended the currently unpopular but correct view that philosophy is not, like science, a cognitive discipline building theories, but a critical enterprise of human self-reflection. In this he stood in the tradition of Aristotle, Kant and Wittgenstein and gave us a model of how to do philosophy.

Rundle thought in whole books, six of them over 37 years: meticulously crafted, rich in insights and packed with arguments. Grammar in Philosophy (1979), opening with, “Philosophy may begin with wonder, but it soon ends up in confusion”, is one of the most ambitious and important books in philosophy of language since Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations. In it, Rundle attacks prevailing conceptions of key semantic concepts, such as meaning, truth, reference and necessity. His early specialisation was mathematical logic, which he taught for 10 years at Oxford. But under the influence of Wittgenstein’s writings, he came to think that to understand the nature and role of language in our lives, the abstract logical and linguistic frameworks pioneered by Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell and Noam Chomsky are less relevant than careful and detailed investigation of how language is employed by ordinary language speakers, including scientists.

Mind in Action (1997) sharply rejects the view of the mind as a machine, or as an entity “inside” our brains, contrary to what our neuroscientific and popular culture often makes us believe. He also showed that animals do not reason, that there is a sharp demarcation between humans and animals, and that we have a free will.

In the third of his most notable books, Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (2004), which received considerable attention, Rundle tackled one of philosophy’s most important questions, formulated by Gottfried Leibniz in the 18th century, in a new way. Rundle contended that the question cannot be answered by science, but must receive a genuine philosophical treatment. He did so by addressing a famous argument in favour of the existence of God, presented by Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century.

Since this universe is contingent, that is to say it might not have existed, at some point it did not exist, and at a later point it came into existence. Since something can only begin to exist in relation to something else already existing (for instance, a football match can only start if the players are on the field), a non-contingent, necessary thing, God, must have existed for this universe to begin to exist. Had there been no necessary thing, God, there would be nothing now.

Unlike most recent philosophers, Rundle found some truth in this argument. In his version, we must indeed claim that if nothing had existed, nothing would exist now, in other words that it is impossible that nothing at all should have existed. For to say that there might have been nothing “then” (before the Big Bang) or “now” presupposes a temporal framework of reference, and thus space, motion and objects.

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However, this does not fully vindicate Aquinas, for “the only thing which would provide a setting into which our universe might make an entrée would be another universe”. There is no necessary entity, God, but some physical thing or other must have always necessarily existed.

If correct, this argument has dramatic consequences for most humans and their religious or scientific beliefs about the origin of the world, for it undermines the idea of an absolutely first event of the world, whether Creation or Big Bang. Rundle also casts doubt on the notion of divine agency and indeed the coherence of the notion of God.

He had a Catholic upbringing, but little sympathy for religion, or for scientists engaging in theological speculation. Earlier this year, he made his exasperation clear to me: “As if we don’t have clear answers to the questions ‘Where do we come from? Where do we go to?’ – from our mothers’ wombs and into the grave.”

Born in Wellington, he was educated there at St Patrick’s college and Victoria University. His interest in philosophy was sparked when, as a boy, he chanced across CEM Joad’s introduction to the subject in the local library. After gaining his first degree in 1959, he went to Magdalen College, Oxford. There he played tennis for the college with the lawyer Michael Beloff, and table tennis for the university. On completing his BPhil in 1961, he went to Queen’s College as a junior research fellow for two years before being elected to the Trinity fellowship. In 1968 he married his wife Ros, with whom he had a son and a daughter.

He held visiting professorships in the US, but turned down offers for chairs, preferring the tutorial system, whose recent decline he deplored. An unassuming and generous figure, he was very popular with his students. He took his role as a tutor for graduates just as seriously as that of being the senior common room wine steward.

He is survived by his wife and children.

Bernard Bede Rundle, philosopher, born 21 February 1937; died 24 September 2011

This article was amended on 1 November 2011. The original referred to Bede Rundle’s books as Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? This has been corrected to Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing.

 

 

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His comments can be found on the 2nd  video and the 58th clip in this series. Below the videos you will find his words.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Quote:

God or any other supernatural agent doesn’t have what it takes to act upon physical things. That seems to me to be the underlying problem in all of us. We extend our talk of things we are familiar with to God forgetting how much it is based in familiar facts about the physical world, and we just suppose it is making sense. It looks similar language  when we take it to this different domain.

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

 

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Does it seem logical that God inspired men to write the Books in the Bible and that those books would be correct in what they say?  Why not consider the evidence?

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

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Archaeology and the Old Testament

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

A man wearing a leather vest and a broad-rimmed hat wraps a ripped piece of cloth around an old bone, sets it on fire, and uses it as a torch to see his way through ancient tunnels filled with bones, rats, bugs, and buried treasure. Close behind him lurks the dastardly villain, ready to pounce on the treasure after the hero has done all the planning and dangerous work. We have seen this scenario, or others similar to it, time and again in movies like Indiana Jones or The Mummy. And although we understand that Hollywood exaggerates and dramatizes the situation, it still remains a fact that finding ancient artifacts excites both young and old alike. Finding things left by people of the past is exciting because a little window of their lives is opened to us. When we find an arrowhead, we are reminded that Indians used bows and arrows to hunt and fight. Discovering a piece of pottery tells us something about the lives of ancient cultures. Every tiny artifact gives the modern person a more complete view of life in the past.

Because of the intrinsic value of archaeology, many have turned to it in order to try to answer certain questions about the past. One of the questions most often asked is, “Did the things recorded in the Bible really happen?” Truth be told, archaeology cannot always answer that question. Nothing material remains from Elijah’s ascension into heaven, and no physical artifacts exist to show that Christ actually walked on water. Therefore, if we ask archaeology to “prove” that the entire Bible is true or false, we are faced with the fact that archaeology can neither prove nor disprove the Bible’s validity. However, even though it cannot conclusively prove the Bible’s veracity in every instance, archaeology can provide important pieces of the past that consistently verify the Bible’s historical and factual accuracy. This month’s Reason and Revelation article is designed to bring to light a small fraction of the significant archaeological finds that have been instrumental in corroborating the biblical text of the Old Testament.

HEZEKIAH AND SENNACHERIB

When Hezekiah assumed the throne of Judah, he did so under extremely distressing conditions. His father Ahaz had turned to the gods of Damascus, cut into pieces the articles within the house of Jehovah, and shut the doors of the temple of the Lord. In addition, he created high places “in every single city” where he sacrificed, and offered incense to other gods (2 Chronicles 28:22-27). The people of Judah followed Ahaz, and as a result, the Bible records that “the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the Lord” (2 Chronicles 28:19).

Upon this troubled throne, King Hezekiah began to rule at the youthful age of just twenty-five. He reigned for twenty-nine years, and the inspired text declares that he “did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done” (2 Chronicles 29:2). Among other reforms, Hezekiah reopened the temple, reestablished the observance of the Passover, and appointed the priests to receive tithes and administer their proper duties in the temple. After completing these reforms, Scripture states that “Sennacherib, king of Assyria entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself ” (2 Chronicles 32:1).

It is here that we turn to the secular record of history to discover that the powerful nation Assyria, under the reign of King Sargon II, had subdued many regions in and around Palestine. Upon Sargon’s death, revolt broke out within the Assyrian empire. Sennacherib, the new Assyrian king, was determined to maintain a firm grasp on his vassal states, which meant that he would be forced to invade the cities of Judah if Hezekiah continued to defy Assyria’s might (Hoerth, 1998, pp. 341-352). Knowing that Sennacherib would not sit by idly and watch his empire crumble, King Hezekiah began to make preparations for the upcoming invasion. One of the preparations he made was to stop the water from the springs that ran outside of Jerusalem, and to redirect the water into the city by way of a tunnel. Second Kings 20:20 records the construction of the tunnel with these words: “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah—all his might, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city—are they not written in the book of chronicles of the kings of Judah?”

Hezekiah's Tunnel
Inside view of Hezekiah’s tunnel, displaying the thick limestone through which workers had to dig. Credit: Todd Bolen (www.BiblePlaces.com).

The biblical text from 2 Chronicles 32:30 further substantiates the tunnel construction with this comment: “This same Hezekiah also stopped the water outlet of Upper Gihon, and brought the water by tunnel to the west side of the City of David.” The tunnel—known today as “Hezekiah’s tunnel”—stands as one of the paramount archaeological attestations to the biblical text. Carved through solid limestone, the tunnel meanders in an S-shape under the city of Jerusalem for a length of approximately 1,800 feet. In 1880, two boys swimming at the site discovered an inscription (about 20 feet from the exit) that provided exacting details regarding how the tunnel had been constructed:

…And this was the account of the breakthrough. While the laborers were still working with their picks, each toward the other, and while there were still three cubits to be broken through, the voice of each was heard calling to the other, because there was a crack (or split or overlap) in the rock from the south to the north. And at the moment of the breakthrough, the laborers struck each toward the other, pick against pick. Then water flowed from the spring to the pool for 1,200 cubits. And the height of the rock above the heads of the laborers was 100 cubits (Price, 1997, p. 267).

Of the inscription, John Laughlin wrote that it is “one of the most important, as well as famous, inscriptions ever found in Judah” (2000, p. 145). Incidentally, since the length of the tunnel was about 1,800 feet, and the inscription marked the tunnel at “1,200 cubits,” archaeologists have a good indication that the cubit was about one-and-a-half feet at the time of Hezekiah (Free and Vos, 1992, p. 182). Dug in order to keep a steady supply of water pumping into Jerusalem during Sennacherib’s anticipated siege, Hezekiah’s tunnel stands as a strong witness to the accuracy of the biblical historical record of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles.

Siloam Insciption
The Siloam inscription commemorates the excavation of Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Archaeological Museum, Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY.

In addition to Hezekiah’s tunnel, other amazingly detailed archaeological evidence provides an outstanding record of some of the events as they unfolded between Hezekiah and Sennacherib. Much of the information we have comes from the well-known Taylor Prism. This fascinating, six-sided clay artifact stands about 15 inches tall, and was found in Nineveh in 1830 by British colonel R. Taylor. Thus, it is known as the “Taylor Prism” (Price, pp. 272-273). The prism contains six columns covered by over 500 lines of writing, and was purchased in the winter of 1919-1920 by J.H. Breasted for the Oriental Institute in Chicago (Hanson, 2002).

Part of the text on the Taylor Prism has Sennacherib’s account of what happened in his military tour of Judah.

As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit to my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong cities, walled forts and to the countless small villages in their vicinity, and conquered (them) by means of well-stamped (earth)ramps, and battering-rams brought (thus) near (to the walls) (combined with) the attack by foot soldiers, (using) mines, breeches as well as sapper work. I drove out (of them) 200,150 people, young and old, male and female, horses, mules, donkeys, camels, big and small cattle beyond counting, and considered (them) booty. Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage. I surrounded him with earthwork in order to molest those who were leaving his city’s gate (Pritchard, 1958a, p. 200).

At least two facts of monumental significance reside in Sennacherib’s statement. First, Sennacherib’s attack on the outlying cities of Judah finds a direct parallel in 2 Chronicles 32:1: “Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities….” The most noteworthy fortified city that the Assyrian despot besieged and captured was the city of Lachish. Second, Sennacherib never mentions that he captured Jerusalem.

Lachish Under Siege

Assyrians attacking the Jewish town of Lachish
Assyrians attack the Jewish fortified town of Lachish. Part of a relief from the palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh. British Museum, London. Credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY.

When we turn to the biblical account of Sennacherib’s Palestinian invasion in 2 Kings 18, we learn that he had advanced against “all the fortified cities of Judah” (vs. 14). At one of those cities, Lachish, King Hezekiah sent tribute money in an attempt to assuage the Assyrian’s wrath. The text states: “Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, ‘I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay’ ” (vs. 14). Of Lachish, Sennacherib demanded 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold, which Hezekiah promptly paid. Not satisfied, however, the Assyrian ruler “sent the Tartan, the Rabsaris, and the Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah” (vs. 17) in an attempt to frighten the denizens of Jerusalem into surrender. The effort failed, “so the Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish” (19:8). From the biblical record, then, we discover very scant information about the battle at Lachish—only that Sennacherib was there, laid siege to the city (2 Chronicles 32:9), and moved on to Libnah upon the completion of his siege.

From Sennacherib’s historical files, however, we get a much more complete account of the events surrounding Lachish. The Assyrian monarch considered his victory at Lachish of such import that he dedicated an entire wall (nearly seventy linear feet) of his palace in Nineveh to carved reliefs depicting the event (Hoerth, p. 350). In the mid-1840s, renowned English archaeologist Henry Layard began extensive excavations in the ruins of ancient Nineveh. He published his initial finds in an 1849 best-selling volume titled Nineveh and Its Remains, and in three subsequent volumes: The Monuments of Nineveh (1849), Inscriptions in the Cuneiform Characters (1851), and Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh (1853) [see Moorey, 1991, pp. 7-12 for more about Layard’s work]. Since Layard’s early discoveries, archaeologists have located and identified thousands of artifacts from at least three different palaces. The remains of ancient Nineveh are located in two mounds on opposite banks of the Hawsar River. One of the mounds, known as Kouyunjik Tepe, contained the remains of the palaces of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal. The other mound, Nebi Younis, held the relics of the palace of Sennacherib. These palaces were built on raised platforms about 75 feet high (Negev and Gibson, 2001, p. 369).

One of the most outstanding artifacts found among the ruins of Nineveh was the wall relief depicting Sennacherib’s defeat of the city of Lachish. Ephraim Stern offered an excellent description of the events pictured in the relief:

The main scene shows the attack on the gate wall of Lachish. The protruding city gate is presented in minute detail, with its crenellations and its special reinforcement by a superstructure of warriors’ shields. The battering rams were moved over specially constructed ramps covered with wooden logs. They were “prefabricated,” four-wheeled, turreted machines. The scene vividly shows frenzied fighting of both attacker and defender in the final stage of battle (2001, 2:5).

Assyrians impaling Jewish prisoners
Assyrian warriors shown impaling Jewish prisoners. Part of a relief from the palace of Sennacherib. British Museum, London. Credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY.

Stern also discussed the flaming firebrands that the defenders of Lachish launched at their attackers, the long-handled, ladle-like instruments used to dowse the front of the battering rams when they were set on fire, slingmen, archers, and assault troops with spears. One of the most striking features of the relief is the depiction of the tortures inflicted on the inhabitants of the Lachish. Several prisoners are pictured impaled on poles, while women and children from the city are led past the victims (Stern, 2:5-6). The epigraph that accompanied the relief read: “Sennacherib, king of the world, king of Assyria, sat upon a nimedu– throne and passed in review the booty (taken) from Lachish (La-ki-su)” [Pritchard, 1958a, p. 201, parenthetical item in orig.].

Of further interest is the fact that archaeological digs at the city of Lachish bear out the details of Sennacherib’s wall relief. Extensive archaeological digs at Lachish from 1935 to 1938 by the British, and again from 1973 to 1987 under Israeli archaeologist David Ussishkin and others, have revealed a treasure trove of artifacts, each of which fits the events depicted by Sennacherib. Concerning the Assyrian siege of Lachish, William Dever noted:

The evidence of it is all there: the enormous sloping siege ramp thrown up against the city walls south of the gate; the double line of defense walls, upslope and downslope; the iron-shod Assyrian battering rams that breached the city wall at its highest point; the massive destruction within the fallen city…. Virtually all the details of the Assyrian reliefs have been confirmed by archaeology…. Also brought to light by the excavators were the double city walls; the complex siege ramp, embedded with hundreds of iron arrowheads and stone ballistae; the counter-ramp inside the city; the destroyed gate, covered by up to 6 ft. of destruction debris; huge boulders from the city wall, burned almost to lime and fallen far down the slope… (2001, pp. 168-169).

The Assyrian monarch’s siege of Lachish is documented by the biblical text, and the destruction of the city is corroborated by the massive carving dedicated to the event in Sennacherib’s palace at Nineveh, as well as the actual artifacts found in stratum III at Lachish.

Jerusalem Stands Strong

Of special interest in Sennacherib’s description of his Palestinian conquest is the fact that he never mentioned seizing the city of Jerusalem. On the Taylor Prism, we find the writings about his conquest of 46 outlying cities, in addition to “walled forts” and “countless small villages.” In fact, we even read that Hezekiah was shut up in Jerusalem as a prisoner “like a bird in a cage.” It also is recorded that Hezekiah sent more tribute to Sennacherib at the end of the campaign (Pritchard, 1958a, pp. 200-201). What is not recorded, however, is any list of booty that was taken from the capital city of Judah. Nor is an inventory of prisoners given in the text of the Taylor Prism. Indeed, one would think that if the city of Lachish deserved so much attention from the Assyrian dictator, then the capital city of Judah would deserve even more.

What we find, however, is complete silence as to the capture of the city. What happened to the vast, conquering army to cause it to buckle at the very point of total victory? Hershel Shanks, author of Jerusalem: An Archaeological Biography, wrote: “…although we don’t know for sure what broke the siege, we do know that the Israelites managed to hold out” (1995, p. 84).

The biblical text, however, offers the answer to this historical enigma. Due to Hezekiah’s faithfulness to the Lord, Jehovah offered His divine assistance to the Judean King. In the book of Isaiah, the prophet was sent to Hezekiah with a message of hope. Isaiah informed Hezekiah that God would stop Sennacherib from entering the city, because Hezekiah prayed to the Lord for assistance. In Isaiah 37:36, the text states: “Then the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh.” Sennacherib could not boast of his victory over the city of Jerusalem—because there was no victory! The Lord had delivered the city out of his hand. In addition, as Dever observed: “Finally, Assyrian records note that Sennacherib did die subsequently at the hands of assassins, his own sons…” (2001, p. 171). Luckenbill records the actual inscription from Esarhaddon’s chronicles that describe the event:

In the month Nisanu, on a favorable day, complying with their exalted command, I made my joyful entrance into the royal palace, an awesome place, wherein abides the fate of kings. A firm determination fell upon my brothers. They forsook the gods and turned to their deeds of violence plotting evil. …To gain the kingship they slew Sennacherib, their father (Luckenbill, 1989, 2:200-201).

These events and artifacts surrounding Hezekiah, Sennacherib, Lachish, and Jerusalem give us an amazing glimpse into the tumultuous relationship between Judah and her neighbors. These facts also provide an excellent example of how archaeology substantiates the biblical account.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BULLAE

The ancient Israelites used several different media to record their information. Among the most popular were scrolls of papyrus and leather. When a scribe had completed writing his information on a scroll, he often would roll the papyrus or leather into a cylinder shape and tie it securely with a string. In order to seal the string even more securely, and to denote the author or sender of the scroll, a bead of soft clay (or soft wax or soft metal) was placed over the string of the scroll. With some type of stamping device, the clay was pressed firmly to the scroll, leaving an inscription in the clay (King and Stager, 2001, p. 307). These clay seals are known as bullae (the plural form of the word bulla). Over the many years of archaeological excavations, hundreds of these bullae have been discovered. TheArchaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land provides an extensive list of bullae that have been unearthed: 50 in Samaria during the 1930s; 17 at Lachish in 1966; 51 in Jerusalem in digs conducted by Yigal Shiloh; 128 in 1962 found in the Wadi ed-Daliyeh Cave and a large cache of 2,000 bullae found in 1998 at Tel Kadesh (Negev and Gibson, 2001, pp. 93-94).

Examples of Bullae
On the left, a bulla with Hebrew writing in a slightly oval impression. On the right, a stamp seal with the name of the owner or scribe. Credit: The Schøyen Collection MS 1912 and MS 5160/1.

Most of the bullae that have been discovered are small, oval, clay stamps that contain the name of the person responsible for the document that was sealed (and occasionally the father of that person), the title or office of the sealer, and/or a picture of an animal or some other artistic rendering. One of the most interesting things about the bullae that have been discovered is the fact that certain names found among the clay seals correspond with biblical references. For instance, from 1978 to 1985, Yigal Shiloh did extensive digging in the city of Jerusalem. In 1982, in a building in Area G of Jerusalem, he discovered a cache of 51 bullae. Because of these clay inscriptions, the building is known in archaeological circles as the “House of Bullae.” This building was burned during the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.Unfortunately, the intense heat of the fires burned all the leather and papyrus scrolls. Yet, even though it destroyed the scrolls, the same fire baked the clay bullae hard and preserved them for posterity (King and Stager, p. 307).

One interesting bulla, and probably the most famous, is connected to the scribe of Jeremiah—Baruch. Hershel Shanks, the editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, gave a detailed account of a landmark cache of over 250 bullae. In October 1975, the first four bullae were purchased by an antiquities dealer in east Jerusalem. The dealer took these bullae to Nahman Avigad, a leading Israeli expert on ancient seals at Hebrew University. More and more bullae came across Avigad’s desk that fit with the others. On more than one occasion, a fragment from one collection would fit with a corresponding fragment from another dealer’s collection. Ultimately, Yoav Sasson, a Jerusalem collector, came to acquire about 200 of the bullae, and Reuben Hecht obtained 49 pieces (Shanks, 1987, pp. 58-65).

The names on two of these bullae have captivated the archaeological world for several decades now. On one of the bulla, the name “Berekhyahu son of Neriyahu the scribe,” is clearly impressed. Shanks wrote concerning this inscription: “The common suffix –yahu in ancient Hebrew names, especially in Judah, is a form of Yahweh. Baruch means “the blessed.” Berekhyahu means “blessed of Yahweh.” An equivalent form to –yahu is –yah, traditionally rendered as “-iah” in our English translations. Neriah is actually Neri-yah or Neriyahu. Eighty of the 132 names represented in the hoard (many names appear more than once on the 250 bullae) include the theophoric element –yahu (1987, p. 61). Shanks (along with the general consensus of archaeological scholars) concluded that the bulla belonged to Baruch, the scribe of Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 36:4, the text reads: “Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah….” The name on the bulla corresponds well with the name in Jeremiah. Concerning the bulla, Hoerth wrote: “This lump of clay…used to close a papyrus document, was sealed by none other than ‘Baruch son of Neriah’ (Jer. 36:4). Baruch’s name here carries a suffix abbreviation for God, indicating that his full name meant ‘blessed of God’ ” (1998, p. 364).

To multiply the evidence that this inscription was indeed the Baruch of Jeremiah fame, another of the inscriptions from a bulla in the cache documented the title “Yerahme’el, son of the king.” This name corresponds to King Jehoiakim’s son “who was sent on the unsuccessful mission to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah” (Shanks, 1987, p. 61). Indeed, the biblical text so states: “And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son…to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them” (Jeremiah 36:26). In commenting on the bulla, Amihai Mazar, who is among the most noted of archaeologists, stated in regard to Jerahmeel the king’s son: “We presume [he] was Jehoiakim’s son sent to arrest Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:26)” [1992, pp. 519-520]. [As a side note, the Hebrew letter yod is represented by Y and J, which often are used interchangeably in the English transliteration of Hebrew names—a fact that can be seen easily in the Hebrew name for God, which is written variously as Yahweh or Jehovah.] Another bulla in the hoard contained the title “Elishama, servant of the king.” And in Jeremiah 36:12, the text mentioned a certain “Elishama the scribe.” While professor Avigad thinks it would be a dubious connection, since he believes the biblical text would not drop the title “servant of the king” (because of its prestige), Shanks commented: “I would not reject the identification so easily” (1987, p. 62).

One of the names inscribed on a bulla was the Hebrew name “Gemaryahu [Gemariah] the son of Shaphan.” Price noted: “This name, which appears a few times in the book of Jeremiah, was the name of the scribe who served in the court of King Jehoiakim” (1998, p. 235). Jeremiah 36:10 records that Jeremiah’s scribe, Baruch, read from the words of the prophet “in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe….” It also is interesting to note that Gemariah was a scribe, which would have put him in precisely the position to produce bullae. Also among the collection from the “House of Bullae” was a bulla that was sealed with the name “Azaryahu son of Hilqiyahu”—a name that easily corresponds with Azariah son of Hilkiah found in 1 Chronicles 9:10-11 (Laughlin, 2000, p. 153).

We have then, among this phenomenal cache of bullae (which dates to the time of the events in the book of Jeremiah), two names and titles that correspond almost identically to Baruch, the son of Neriah, plus Jerahmeel, the son of Jehoiakim, and a third, Elishama, whose name appears in Jeremiah 36. What, then, does this prove? While it is the case that several men in ancient Israel could be named Baruch or Jerahmeel, it becomes almost absurd to suggest that these bullae just happen “coincidentally” to correspond so well to the biblical text. Such evidence points overwhelming to the accuracy of the biblical text and its historical verifiability. At the very least, such finds demonstrate these biblical names to be authentic for the time period. [As an added note of interest on the Baruch bulla, Shanks wrote a follow-up article in Biblical Archaeological Review in 1996, in which he discussed another bulla with Baruch’s title on it that also contains a fingerprint—possibly of the scribe himself. This bulla is in the private collection of a well-known collector named Shlomo Maussaieff (Shanks, 1996, pp. 36-38).]

THE MOABITE STONE

Another important archaeological find verifying the historicity of the biblical account is known as the Moabite Stone. It is true that writing about a rock that was discovered almost 150 years ago certainly would not fit in a current “in the news” section. In fact, so much has been written about this stone since 1868 that very few new articles pertaining to it have come to light. But the real truth of the matter is that, even though it was discovered more than a century ago, many people do not even know it exists, and thus need to be reminded of its importance.

The Moabite StoneThe find is known as the Moabite Stone, or the Mesha Inscription, since it was written by Mesha, King of Moab. A missionary named F.A. Klein first discovered the stone in August of 1868 (Edersheim, n.d., p. 109). When he initially saw the black basalt stone, it measured approximately 3.5 feet high and 2 feet wide. Upon learning of Klein’s adventure, a French scholar by the name of Clermont-Ganneau located the antiquated piece of rock, and copied eight lines from the stone. He then had an impression (known as a “squeeze”) made of the writing on its surface. A squeeze is made by placing a soggy piece of paper over the inscription, which then retains the form of the inscription when it dries (Pritchard, 1958b, p. 105). From that point, the details surrounding the stone are not quite as clear. Apparently (for reasons unknown), the Arabs who were in possession of the stone decided to shatter it. [Some have suggested that they thought the stone was a religious talisman of some sort, or that they could get more money selling the stone in pieces. However, LeMaire claims that these reasons are “apocryphal,” and suggests that the Arabs broke it because they hated the Ottomans, who were attempting to purchase the stone (1994, p. 34).] By heating it in fire and then pouring cold water on it, they succeeded in breaking the stone into several pieces. The pieces ended up being scattered, but eventually about two-thirds of the original stone ended up being relocated, and currently reside at the Louvre in Paris (Jacobs and McCurdy, 2002).

The written inscription on the stone provides a piece of outstanding evidence that verifies the Bible’s accuracy. Mesha, had the stone cut in c. 850 B.C. to relate his numerous conquests and his reacquisition of certain territories that were controlled by Israel. In the over 30-line text (composed of approximately 260 words), Mesha mentioned that Omri was the king of Israel who had oppressed Moab, but then Mesha says he “saw his desire upon” Omri’s son and upon “his house.” Mesha wrote:

I (am) Mesha, son of Chemosh-[…], king of Moab, the Dibonite—my father (had) reigned over Moab thirty years, and I reigned after my father,—(who) made this high place for Chemosh in Qarhoh […] because he saved me from all the kings and caused me to triumph over all my adversaries. As for Omri, king of Israel, he humbled Moab many years (lit., days), for Chemosh was angry at his land. And his son followed him and he also said, “I will humble Moab.” In my time he spoke (thus), but I have triumphed over him and over his house, while Israel hath perished forever (Pritchard, 1958a, p. 209).

The Mesha stele cites Omri as the king of Israel, just as 1 Kings 16:21-28 indicates. Furthermore, it mentions Ahab, Omri’s son, in close connection with the Moabites, as does 2 Kings 3:4-6. In addition, both the stele and 2 Kings 3:4-6 list Mesha as King of Moab. Later in the inscription, the stele further names the Israelite tribe of Gad, and the Israelite God, Yahweh. While the references to the Israelite kings are quite notable in and of themselves, Pritchard has pointed out that this reference to Yahweh is one of the few that have been found outside of Palestine proper (1958b, p. 106).

Another important feature of the Moabite stone is the fact that it “gave the solution to a question that had gone unanswered for centuries.” The biblical record chronicles the Moabite subjugation under King David and King Solomon, and how the Moabites broke free at the beginning of the divided kingdom. However, the Bible also mentions (2 Kings 3:4) that Ahab was receiving tribute from Moab. As Alfred Hoerth has remarked: “Nowhere does the Bible state how or when Moab was reclaimed, for Ahab to be receiving such tribute. The Moabite Stone provides that information, telling, as it does, of Omri’s conquest from the Moabite point of view” (1998, p. 310).

From the end of the quoted portion of the Mesha Inscription (“while Israel hath perished forever”), it is obvious that Mesha exaggerated the efficacy of his conquest—a common practice among ancient kings. Pritchard noted that historians agree that “the Moabite chroniclers tended generally, and quite understandably, to ignore their own losses and setbacks” (1958b, p. 106). Free and Vos document the works of John D. Davies and S.L. Caiger, which offer a harmonization of the Moabite text with the biblical record. Davies, formerly of the Princeton University Seminary, accurately observed: “Mesha is in no wise contradicting, but only unintentionally supplementing the Hebrew account” (as quoted in Free and Vos, 1992, p. 161).

As a further point of interest, French scholar André LeMaire, in an extensive article in Biblical Archaeology Review, “identified the reading of the name David in a formerly unreadable line, ‘House of D…,’ on the Mesha Stele (or Moabite Stone)” [Price, 1997, p. 171; see also LeMaire, 1994, pp. 30-37]. Whether or not this identification is accurate, has yet to be verified by scholarly consensus. Even liberal scholars Finkelstein and Silberman, however, acknowledged LaMaire’s identification, along with the Tel Dan inscription documenting the House of David, and concluded: “Thus, the house of David was known throughout the region; this clearly validates the biblical description of a figure named David becoming the founder of the dynasty of Judahite kings in Jerusalem” (2001, p. 129).

Taken as a whole, the Moabite stone remains one of the most impressive pieces of evidence verifying the historical accuracy of the Old Testament. And, although this find has been around almost 150 years, it “still speaks” to us today (Hebrews 11:4).

Cyrus Cylinder

THE CYRUS CYLINDER

Cyrus, King of the Medo-Persian Empire, is among the most important foreign rulers of the Israelite nation. In fact, many Old Testament prophecies revolve around this monarch. The prophet Isaiah documented that the Babylonian Empire would fall to the Medes and the Persians (Isaiah 13; 21:1-10). Not only did Isaiah detail the particular empire to which the Babylonians would fall, but he also called Cyrus by name (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-5). Amazingly, Isaiah’s prophecy was made roughly 150 years before Cyrus was born(Isaiah prophesied in about 700 B.C.; Cyrus took the city of Babylon in 539 B.C.). To add to Cyrus’ significance, Isaiah predicted that Cyrus would act as the Lord’s “shepherd.” In fact, Isaiah recorded these words of the Lord concerning Cyrus: “And he shall perform all My pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid’ ” (Isaiah 44:28).

In 1879, Hormoz Rasam found a small clay cylinder (about nine inches long, and now residing in the British Museum) in the ancient city of Babylon. Upon the clay cylinder, King Cyrus had inscribed, among other things, his victory over the city of Babylon and his policy toward the nations he had captured, as well as his policy toward their various gods and religions. Price recorded a translation of a segment of the cuneiform text found on the cylinder:

…I returned to [these] sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris, the sanctuaries of which have been in ruins for a long time, the images which [used] to live therein and established for them permanent sanctuaries. I [also] gathered all their [former] inhabitants and returned [to them] their habitations. Furthermore, I resettled upon the command of Marduk the great lord, all the gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabonidus has brought into Babylon to the anger of the lord of the gods, unharmed, in their [former] chapels, the places which made them happy. May all the gods who I have resettled in their sacred cities ask daily Bel and Nebo for long life for me and may they recommend me…to Marduk, my lord, may they say thus: Cyrus, the king who worships you and Cambyses, his son, […] all of them I settled in a peaceful place (pp. 251-252).

The policy, often hailed as Cyrus’ declaration of human rights, coincides with the biblical account of the ruler’s actions, in which Cyrus decreed that the temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt, and that all the exiled Israelites who wished to join in the venture had his permission and blessing to do so (Ezra 1:1-11). The little nine-inch-long clay cylinder stands as impressive testimony—along with several other archaeological finds—to the historical accuracy of the biblical text.

CONCLUSION

The archaeological evidence presented in this article that confirms biblical history is, in truth, only a tiny fraction of the evidence that could be amassed along these lines. In fact, volumes of hundreds of pages each have been produced on such matters, and with every new find comes additional information that will fill archaeology texts for decades to come. The more we uncover the past, the more we discover the truth that the Bible is the most trustworthy, historically accurate document ever produced. As the poet John Greenleaf Whittier once wrote:

We search the world for truth; we cull the good, the pure, the beautiful, from all the old flower fields of the soul; and, weary seekers of the best, we come back laden from our quest, to find that all the sages said is in the Book our mothers read.

REFERENCES

Dever, William (2001), What did the Bible Writers Know and When did They Know It? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Edersheim, Albert (no date), The Bible History—Old Testament, Book VI (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Finkelstein, Israel and Neil Silberman (2001), The Bible Unearthed (New York: Simon & Schuster).

Free, Joseph P. and Howard F. Vos (1992), Archaeology and Bible History (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

Hanson, K.C. (2002), Sennacherib Prism, [On-line], URL: http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/meso/sennprism1.html.

Hoerth, Alfred J. (1998), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Jacobs, Joseph and J. Frederick McCurdy (2002), “Moabite Stone,” Jewish Encyclopedia.com,[On-line], URL: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=680&letter=M.

King, Philip J. and Lawrence E. Stager (2001), Life in Biblical Israel (in the Library of Ancient Israelseries), ed. Douglas A. Knight (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press).

Laughlin, John C.H. (2000), Archaeology and the Bible (New York: Routledge).

LeMaire, André (1994), “House of David Restored in Moabite Inscription,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 20[3]:30-37, May/June.

Luckenbill, Daniel D. (1989), Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylon (London: Histories and Mysteries of Man Ltd.).

Mazar, Amihai (1992), Archaeology of the Land of the Bible (New York: Doubleday).

Moorey, P.R.S. (1991), A Century of Biblical Archaeology (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press).

Negev, Avraham and Shimon Gibson (2001), Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land (New York: Continuum).

Price, Randall (1997), The Stones Cry Out (Eugene, OR: Harvest House).

Pritchard, James B., ed. (1958a), The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

Pritchard, James B. (1958b), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

Shanks, Hershel (1987), “Jeremiah’s Scribe and Confidant Speaks from a Hoard of Clay Bullae,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 13[5]:58-65, September/October.

Shanks, Hershel (1995), Jerusalem: An Archaeological Biography (New York: Random House).

Shanks, Hershel (1996), “Fingerprint of Jeremiah’s Scribe,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 22[2]:36-38, March/April.

Stern, Ephraim (2001), Archaeology and the Land of the Bible: The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Periods (732-332 B.C.E.) (New York: Doubleday).

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The answer to finding out more about God is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Please consider taking time to read Isaiah chapter 53 and if you have any interest then watch the You Tube clip “The Biography of the King” by Adrian Rogers which discusses that chapter in depth.

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.

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(This material below is under footnote #94)

The site of the biblical city called Lachish is about thirty miles southwest of Jerusalem. This city is referred to on a number of occasions in the Old Testament. Imagine a busy city with high walls surrounding it, and a gate in front that is the only entrance to the city. We know so much about Lachish from archaeological studies that a reconstruction of the whole city has been made in detail. This can be seen at the British Museum in the Lachish Room in the Assyrian section.

There is also a picture made by artists in the eighth century before Christ, the Lachish Relief, which was discovered in the city of Nineveh in the ancient Assyria. In this picture we can see the Jewish inhabitants of Lachish surrendering to Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. The details in the picture and the Assyrian writing on it give the Assyrian side of what the Bible tells us in Second Kings:

2 Kings 18:13-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear.” So the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver which was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

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We should notice two things about this. First, this is a real-life situation–a real siege of a real city with real people on both sides of the war–and it happened at a particular date in history, near the turn of the eighth century B.C. Second, the two accounts of this incident in 701 B.C. (the account from the Bible and the Assyrian account from Nineveh) do not contradict, but rather confirm each other. The history of Lachish itself is not so important for us, but some of its smaller historical details.

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