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MUSIC MONDAY Punk Band BLONDIE, Francis Schaeffer asserted: I have lots of young people come to us and [they] can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” SCHAEFFER TAKES LOOK AT ECCLESIASTES AND THE ISSUE OF SEXUAL PROMISCUITY

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A COOL BLONDE AND

Blondie grew up with punk, which began in the mid‐70’s as a loose movement of bands wanting to recycle the raw, high‐powered energy of 50’s and early 60’s rock‐and‐roll. They were reacting against the overproduced, too‐slick sound of most pop music — the mindless, repetitive rhythms of disco and the bland creaminess of studio‐created pop, both of which monopolized the airwaves.

Bands like the Ramones toured England, where their punk attitude — they behaved onstage like truculent street toughs — was adopted by English pub bands as a vehicle for the political outrage expressed by the theater’s “Angry Young Men” two decades earlier. Punk music was minimalist, some said chaotic; its lyrics emphasized alternating currents of nihilism and sentimentality. When more musicianly and cerebral groups, such as Talking Heads, came onto the scene, English music writers invented the umbrella term “new wave” to encompass all late‐70’s groups, however disparate, which were aiming to restore gut feeling to rock‐and‐roll.

Lyrics
Color me your color, baby
Color me your car
Color me your color, darling
I know who you are
Come up off your color chart
I know where you’re comin’ from
Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) my love
You can call me any day or night
Call me
Cover me with kisses, baby
Cover me with love
Roll me in designer sheets
I’ll never get enough
Emotions come, I don’t know why
Cover up love’s alibi
Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) oh love
When you’re ready we can share the wine
Call me
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, he speaks the languages of love
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, amore, chiamami, chiamami
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, appelle-moi mon cherie, appelle-moi
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, any way
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, any day-ay
Call me (call me) my love
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) for a ride
Call me, call me for some overtime
Call me (call me) my love
Call me, call me in a sweet design
Call me (call me), call me for your lover’s lover’s alibi
Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me)
Oh, call me, oh, oh, ah
Call me (call me) my love
Call me, call me any, anytime
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Deborah Harry / Giorgio Moroder
Call Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Wikipedia
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Call Me” is a song by the American new wave band Blondie and the theme to the 1980 film American Gigolo. Released in the US in early 1980 as a single, “Call Me” was No. 1 for six consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it became the band’s biggest single and second No. 1.[1] It also hit No. 1 in the UK and Canada, where it became their fourth and second chart-topper, respectively. In the year-end chart of 1980, it was Billboards No. 1 single and RPM magazine’s No. 3 in Canada.[4][5]

Song and single informationEdit

“Call Me” was the main theme song of the 1980 film American Gigolo. It is played in the key of D minor. Italian disco producer Giorgio Moroder originally asked Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac to help compose and perform a song for the soundtrack, but she declined as a recently signed contract with Modern Records prevented her from working with Moroder. It was at this time that Moroder turned to Debbie Harry and Blondie. Moroder presented Harry with a rough instrumental track called “Man Machine”. Harry was asked to write the lyrics and melody, a process that Harry states took a mere few hours.[6] The lyrics were written from the perspective of the main character in the film, a male prostitute.[7] Harry said the lyrics were inspired by her visual impressions from watching the film and that “When I was writing it, I pictured the opening scene, driving on the coast of California.”[8] The completed song was then recorded by the band, with Moroder producing. The bridge of the original English-language version also includes Harry singing “Call me, my darling” in Italian (“Amore, chiamami”) (Love, call me) and in French (“Appelle-moi, mon chéri”) (Call me, my darling).

In the US, the song was released by three record companies: the longest version (at 8:06) on the soundtrack album by Polydor, the 7″ and 12″ on Blondie’s label Chrysalis, and a Spanish-language 12″ version, with lyrics by Buddy and Mary McCluskey, on the disco label Salsoul Records. The Spanish version, titled “Llámame”, was meant for release in Mexico and some South American countries. This version was also released in the US and the UK and had its CD debut on Chrysalis/EMI‘s rarities compilation Blonde and Beyond (1993). In 1988, a remixed version by Ben Liebrand taken from the Blondie remix album Once More into the Bleachwas issued as a single in the UK. In 2001, the “original long version” appeared as a bonus track on the Autoamerican album re-issue.

Harry recorded an abbreviated version of the song that was backed by the Muppet Band for her guest appearance on The Muppet Show in August 1980. It was first broadcast in January 1981.

Popularity and acclaimEdit

The single was released in the United States in February 1980. It peaked at No. 1 and remained there for six consecutive weeks until it was knocked off by Lipps, Inc.‘s worldwide smash hit “Funkytown” and was certified Gold (for one million copies sold) by the RIAA. It also spent four weeks at No. 2 on the US dance chart. The single was also No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s 1980 year-end chart. The song lists at No. 57 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100.[9] It was released in the UK two months later, where it became Blondie’s fourth UK No. 1 single in little over a year. The song was also played on a British Telecom advert in the 1980s. 25 years after its original release, “Call Me” was ranked at No. 283 on the list of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 1981, the Village Voice ranked “Call Me” as the third-best song of the year 1980 on its annual year-end critics’ poll, Pazz & Jop.[10]

In 1981, the song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, as well as for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

“Call Me”
Blondie - Call Me.png
Single by Blondie
from the album American Gigolo
B-side “Call Me” (instrumental) (U.S.)
Released February 1, 1980
Format
  • 7″ single
  • 12″ single
Recorded August 1979, New York City[1]
Genre
Length
  • 2:15 (music video version)
  • 3:32 (radio edit)
  • 8:05 (album version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Giorgio Moroder
Blondie singles chronology
The Hardest Part
(1980)
Call Me
(1980)
Atomic
(1980)
Audio sample
Music video
“Call Me” on YouTube
Alternative cover
German edition

German edition

Blondie’s Top 10 Rock Band Memories

Debbie Harry and Chris Stein talk to us about mosh pits, inventing their look, and taking advice from Bowie.

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CHRIS STEIN/NEGATIVE, RIZZOLI NEW YORK

Blondie has now been a band for over 40 years. The punk-inspired New Wave group came together in New York City in 1974, founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein, and has since become known around the world for their music and, importantly, their style. The band will embark on a lengthy North American tour this spring, which kicks off June 27 in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden. Stein also recently unveiled an exhibition of his photographs at Paul Smith in Los Angeles in celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary (the exhibition runs until May 24). Harry and Stein, who are just as cool as ever, recounted some of Blondie’s most memorable moments for Esquire during an interview at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel in LA, reminding us just how impressive the band’s career has been.

1. Blondie’s First Ever Show

CHRIS STEIN: “Somehow I have a photograph of the first show. It was at one of those places on Third Avenue. It was right near where they shot Taxi Driver. My memory is enhanced by the photograph. For some weird reason I would give my camera to people in the audience so I have one frame of us playing, which was that first show with Gary and Clem.”

DEBBIE HARRY: “Back then I was always nervous. We were winging it a lot. We didn’t know what was going to happen, whether it was crap. It was all new and it was pretty exciting so we would just go for it.”

CS: “It took me 40 years to get rid of the nerves.”

2. First Radio Hit

CS: “I first heard one of our songs on the radio on 17th Street. It was one of our first singles.”

DH: “One time that really stuck out in my mind was when somebody went by in a car and ‘Rip Her to Shreds’ was on. I didn’t know exactly what it was at first but I really liked it. And then I realized it was ‘Rip Her to Shreds.’ I thought, ‘Well, gee, that sounds really good.'”

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Chris Stein/Negative, Rizzoli New York

3. How Their Best Songs Came About

CS: “When I first started ‘Maria’ I knew that was going to be successful, even though we had been on this long hiatus. I really thought ‘Tide Is High’ was going to be a hit. We had already had hits and been in that position, but I knew with that one before we even recorded it that it had the potential. I like to think I’m inspired all the time.”

DH: “I can tell over time in a period of years that there have been moments where something will be so synchronistic. You’re working with other people and all of a sudden it all just comes together. That’s a very exciting moment. There have been several. One was ‘Heart of Glass.’ It was a moment like that initially. Also ‘X Offender’ happened like that. It’s kind of amazing and everybody knows it when it’s happening. ‘Heart of Glass’ came from Chris noodling with the guitar. We’d be sitting around and he’d be noodling with the guitar. I remember him repeating that phrase.”

CS: “There’s one bit that’s on the demo version that didn’t make it into the final version. We did a lot of [the song] in an apartment on First Avenue with a little multitrack tape recorder.”

4. Their Beatlemania Moment

CS: “It was all very fast. It was quick and a lot of things happened so there wasn’t one moment [where we felt successful]. When ‘Heart of Glass’ was No. 1 in the U.S. that was a big deal. Then we did this in-store appearance in London and all these kids showed up and traffic was stopped. It was incredible. It was a total Beatlemania thing.”

DH: “One of the early times that happened was a CBGB show. We were just about to go out on the road and they oversold the club. It was so crowded. You couldn’t walk from one end to the other. If you got in there, you stood there. Somebody called the fire department and they came. We were playing and all of sudden we saw these helmets trying to wade through this crowd. It was pretty funny.”

CS: “I always thought it was Rod Swenson [who called the fire department] because he was filming and it just made for good footage. I’ve always suspected that.”

Debbie Harry with David Bowie.
Debbie Harry with David Bowie.

Chris Stein/Negative, Rizzoli New York

“Bowie was very charmed by the New Wave stuff.”

5. Hanging Out with David Bowie and Iggy Pop

CS: “It happens all the time that you meet your idols. It still goes on. I just met RuPaul and that was totally exciting. But when we did the Idiot Tour [in 1977] with Iggy [Pop] and David Bowie that was a real big deal for us. We had been playing around and we heard that they wanted us to open for them on the tour. It was really exciting. I remember we did a show in the city at Max’s and we got into this really shitty RV and drove to Canada. I think it was Montreal. Everybody was very tired and we staggered out into the hall and the two of them were just waiting for us in the hallway. It was mind-boggling.”

DH: “[Bowie] was in his more natural sort of period. He had his natural hair color. He was very low-key.”

CS: “He was very charmed by the New Wave stuff. I remember he talked about Tom Verlaine’s hairdo a lot.”

DH: “They were really interested in having a dynamic show. [Bowie] gave me advice on working the stage. I moved around but it was about delivery as an actor. Inevitably you have to take the advice. If he’d said ‘Get out of town’ I probably would have done that too.”

6. Traveling Around the Globe

DH: “Initially Bangkok was the coolest place we went. It was very primitive. Where we were staying there were open sewers and lepers on the street begging and stuff like that. The curfew from the Vietnam War was still in place. The atmosphere was much, much different then.”

CS: “We played there on New Year’s Eve in 1977, into 1978, and they lifted the curfew and everyone went crazy. That was exciting. We played in the Ambassador Hotel.”

DH: “That was also a very interesting experience because they had a magnificent PA and soundboard but they had never set it up before. They had hundreds of guys and they didn’t have any of the cables marked for their compatible ports where they were supposed to go. So every time they would run a cable they would have to go through every test to see where it went. It took them like three days to set up the PA. It sounded okay.”

CS: “It sounded fine. They had a gigantic flower arrangement that said ‘Blondie’ in the font from the first record, too. We did several more shows there later.”

7. Near-Death Experiences

CS: “There was this great moment where we were in the U.K. city of Dunstable and a huge bunch of skinheads jumped up onstage. They were doing this Dawn of the Dead dance. I remember physically dragging [Debbie] offstage while they were there. I don’t know how scary it was, but it was incredible and did stop the show.”

DH: “One time that was scary was in Belgium and they had this old system of electricity. It didn’t really have a ground so we couldn’t touch anything. You couldn’t touch the microphone stand. Everything was live. It was very funny because there’s only two places in the world where this kind of system existed and one was in Belgium and one was in Thailand. We had been through both. You don’t touch anything.”

CS: “There were a couple people who had been electrocuted. Most famously the guy from a band called Stone the Crows, who had been electrocuted dead onstage.”

“When all the guys are beating the shit out of each other, we play better.”

8. Best Performances

DH: “I liked that one we did recently where we got the iPhones.”

CS:iTunes Festival. That was a good one. I liked Riot Fest in Chicago. Wherever there’s a mosh pit. We don’t usually get mosh pits, but occasionally, when we do, it’s inspiring. When all the guys are beating the shit out of each other, we play better. When we first started there was no rock dance in New York at all. It just didn’t exist.”

DH: “That was one of our goals: to bring dancing back into music.”

CS: “Going to the U.K. and doing our very first show there, which was a warmup show in Bristol. Everybody was going crazy physically. That was a great moment. There’s a tribal element in concerts, even now, even if you go to see Skrillex. There’s a tribal element going on there.”

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Chris Stein/Negative, Rizzoli New York

9. How They Invented a Look

CS: “The boys always embraced the British mod sensibility. We liked that, even more than the punk, ripped-up aesthetic. We never went much into the torn shirts and stuff. I don’t know how calculated it was—it was just what we liked doing. We certainly never had a stylist.”

DH: “It was what was available to us. If everybody could agree on it and we felt like it was cool and it was affordable and we could lay our hands on it, that was pretty much what we did. It was a real amalgamation of some leather jackets, tee-shirts, and the peg-leg pants. Somebody showed up with this bright blue suit once and said, ‘Oh yeah, they’re up there on 14th Street for $5. You’ve got to go up there. They have all different colors.’ That kind of thing would happen.”

CS: “When we first came to Melrose [in Los Angeles] there were about three stores.”

DH: “There was a junk store way down on Sunset that was good. I found my motorcycle jacket out here on Melrose. Up until then all the motorcycle jackets were so big and so heavy so it was a child’s motorcycle jacket.”

CS: “It was a couple hundred bucks! It was expensive. I remember debating with you because it was so expensive. There were no designer motorcycle jackets at the time.”

“We were part of the great tradition of rock and roll.”

10. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

DH: “I couldn’t believe that it was true. I had always been scoffing the whole thing. I thought ‘Who cares about that?’ But I think it made a lot of difference for us becoming credible in a lot of people’s minds. We were credible to a small degree, but I think it launched us into being considered a real part of the shift in music. When music took a directional change and that put us there and we became identified with that and more legitimate. For a long time that music was considered a joke and not to be taken seriously, but in a way we were part of the great tradition of rock and roll in that the best aspects of it have always been counterculture.”

Emily Zemler is a freelance writer based in London.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

“They are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one…
The result is a relativistic value system. A lack of a final meaning to life — that’s first. Why does human life have any value at all, if that is all that reality is? Not only are you going to die individually, but the whole human race is going to die, someday. It may not take the falling of the atom bombs, but someday the world will grow too hot, too cold. That’s what we are told on this other final reality, and someday all you people not only will be individually dead, but the whole conscious life on this world will be dead, and nobody will see the birds fly. And there’s no meaning to life.

As you know, I don’t speak academically, shut off in some scholastic cubicle, as it were. I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” And I must say, that on the basis of what they are being taught in school, that the final reality is only this material thing, they are not wrong. They’re right! On this other basis there is no meaning to life and not only is there no meaning to life, but there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.

OUTLINE OF ECCLESIATES BY SCHAEFFER

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William Lane Craig on Man’s predicament if God doesn’t exist

Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know.

Thus, if there is no God, then life itself becomes meaningless. Man and the universe are without ultimate significance.

Francis Schaeffer looks at Nihilism of Solomon and the causes of it!!!

Notes on Ecclesiastes by Francis Schaeffer

Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes and he is truly an universal man like Leonardo da Vinci.

Two men of the Renaissance stand above all others – Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and it is in them that one can perhaps grasp a view of the ultimate conclusion of humanism for man. Michelangelo was unequaled as a sculptor in the Renaissance and arguably no one has ever matched his talents.

The other giant of the Renaissance period was Leonardo da Vinci – the perfect Renaissance Man, the man who could do almost anything and does it better than most anyone else. As an inventor, an engineer, an anatomist, an architect, an artist, a chemist, a mathematician, he was almost without equal. It was perhaps his mathematics that lead da Vinci to come to his understanding of the ultimate meaning of Humanism. Leonardo is generally accepted as the first modern mathematician. He not only knew mathematics abstractly but applied it in his Notebooks to all manner of engineering problems. He was one of the unique geniuses of history, and in his brilliance he perceived that beginning humanistically with mathematics one only had particulars. He understood that man beginning from himself would never be able to come to meaning on the basis of mathematics. And he knew that having only individual things, particulars, one never could come to universals or meaning and thus one only ends with mechanics. In this he saw ahead to where our generation has come: everything, including man, is the machine.

Leonardo da Vinci compares well to Solomon and they  both were universal men searching for the meaning in life. Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life. Not just plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s has been washed away. There is  a difference between finding plans in life and purpose in life. Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it since. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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

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

Man is caught in the cycle

Ecclesiastes 1:1-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

All Is Vanity

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
    and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
    and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
    but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
    there they flow again.

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already
    in the ages before us.

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Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it. Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Ecclesiastes 1:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.

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Ecclesiastes 4:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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In verses 1:4 and 4:16 Solomon places man in the cycle. He doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is only cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age. With this in mind Solomon makes this statement.

Ecclesiastes 6:12

12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

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There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man. I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing and I felt as man as God. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

THIS IS SOLOMON’S FEELING TOO. The universal man, Solomon, beyond our intelligence with an empire at his disposal with the opportunity of observation so he could recite these words here in Ecclesiastes 6:12, “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?”

Lack of Satisfaction in life

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell itThe eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing.” Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing. THERE IS NO FINAL SATISFACTION. This is related to Leonardo da Vinci’s similar search for universals and then meaning in life. 

In Ecclesiastes 5:11 Solomon again pursues this theme, When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?”  Doesn’t that sound modern? It is as modern as this evening. Solomon here is stating the fact there is no reaching completion in anything and this is the reason there is no final satisfaction. There is simply no place to stop. It is impossible when laying up wealth for oneself when to stop. It is impossible to have the satisfaction of completion. 

Pursuing Learning

Now let us look down the details of his searching.

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

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

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

Works of Men done Under the Sun

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

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

Man can not rest and yet he is never done and yet the things which he builds will out live him. If one wants an ironical three phrases these are they. There is a Dutch saying, “The tailor makes many suits but one day he will make a suit that will outlast the tailor.”

God has put eternity in our hearts but we can not know the beginning or the end of the thing from a vantage point of UNDER THE SUN

Ecclesiastes 1:16-18

16 I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

Solomon points out that you can not know the beginnings or what follows:

Ecclesiastes 3:11

11 He has made everything  appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

Ecclesiastes 1:11

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

Ecclesiastes 2:16

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

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

The Daughter of the Vine:

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 6:2

a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction.

Can someone stuff himself with food he can’t digest? Solomon came to this place of strife and confusion when he went on in his search for meaning.

 Oppressed have no comforter

Ecclesiastes 4:1

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

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

Ecclesiastes 7:14-15

14 In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man will not discover anything that will be after him.

15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 8:14

14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

We could say it in 20th century language, “The books are not balanced in this life.”

Pursuing Ladies

If one would flee to alcohol, then surely one may choose sexual pursuits to flee to. Solomon looks in this area too.

Ecclesiastes 7:25-28

25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman. (Good News Translation on verse 28)

One can understand both Solomon’s expertness in this field and his bitterness.

I Kings 11:1-3 (New American Standard Bible) 

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.

An expert but also the reason for his bitterness. Certainly there have been many men over the centuries who have daydreamed of Solomon’s wealth in this area [of women], but at the end it was sorry, not only sorry but nothing and less than nothing. The simple fact is that one can not know woman in the real sense by pursuing 1000 women. It is not possible. Woman is not found this way. All that is left in this setting if one were to pursue the meaning of life in this direction is this most bitter word found in Ecclesiastes 7:28, “I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman.” (Good News Translation on verse 28) He was searching in the wrong way. He was searching for the answer to life in the limited circle of that which is beautiful in itself but not an answer finally in sexual life. More than that he finally tried to find it in variety and he didn’t even touch one woman at the end.

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Last letter I wrote to Hugh Hefner seen below:

Larry Joe Speaks  (August 20, 1947 to April 7, 2017)

Photo of Larry Joe Speaks

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Francis Schaeffer pictured above

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June 30, 2017

Hugh Hefner

Playboy Mansion16236 Charing Cross RoadLos Angeles, CA 90024

Dear Hugh,

I started these series of letters on the meaning of it all on April 7, 2017 when  my good friend Larry Speaks died. Larry’s favorite sermon was WHO  IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers and he gave hundreds of CD copies of that sermon away. I actually ran the copies off  for him and since the sermon was only 37 minutes long and the CD went 60 minutes, I also put on there another sermon by Bill Elliff too called WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE END OF TIME? Later in this letter I want to share a portion of that message with you. All of these letters I have written you have dealt with what Solomon had to say concerning the search for satisfaction in life UNDER THE SUN (without God in the picture.) Probably his most disappointing discovery was that being a ladies man left him unsatisfied.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The Message (MSG)

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

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

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

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

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

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In fact, the Book of Ecclesiastes shows that Solomon came to the conclusion that NOTHING in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), LADIES and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20). You can only find a lasting meaning to your life by looking above the sun and bring God back into the picture.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Keith Hefner and Hugh Hefner

According to the Bible God will bring every act to judgment!!! Below is a portion of Bill Elliff’s message that deals with this:

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE END OF TIME? I want to look at this picture of what will happen to everyone of us at the end of time. Let’s read our scripture passage.

Luke 12:1-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees

12 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

Have No Fear

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?[b]And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Acknowledge Christ Before Men

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

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What will happen at the end of time?

FIRST OF ALL, Jesus says it will be a time of the revelation of the secrets of your life.

A great time of revealing and uncovering, when unknown things to some become known to all. There is coming a day when what you really are will be revealed.

There is something inside us that thinks we can hide things from each other and hide things from God. Have you ever played HIDE AND SEEK with a group of young children? They will hide in plain view but in their mind they are hidden. My smallest children will put their hands over their eyes and they think that since they can’t see me that they are hidden from my sight. But the truth of the matter is that I can see them so clearly and sometimes we think that because we can’t see God that He can’t see us. Last week we read Hebrews 4:13 that says, “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” One day the secrets of our heart will be revealed. In the brief days of our life, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years that God may give you, or maybe a few years beyond that, we may do a good job of hiding those secrets, but one day the secrets of our lives will be revealed before God.

NEXT after the revelation of the secrets of your life there will be a great revelation of God’s authority.

Do you know what a sovereign is? A sovereign is one who has complete authority. He has the authority and he has the authority to carry it out.

There are 3 kinds of authority. First, voluntary authority such as you choosing to work for an employer. Second, seized authority like a murderer. Third, God is an absolute authority and He is the sovereign and He is over everything. It is right for Him to be over everything because He made everything. He is a God of perfect love,  a God of perfect mercy, a God of perfect grace, a God of perfect compassion, but He is a God of perfect righteousness.  If He was any less than that then He wouldn’t be God. He is a God of perfect holiness and authority. He has wooed us and called us and given us every opportunity to come, but He is a God who one day who will reveal. He has absolute authority over your life.

Look again at verses 4 and 5:

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

God has the authority to do that. There is coming a day when there will be a great separation and a great dividing. It is all over the scriptures. God has given us the moment of grace to come and trust in Him and give our lives to Him, but one day the door will be closed and then the division will come. He will say to some come into my kingdom that I have prepared for you and he will say to others you are headed to an eternity separated. You have chosen your fate for all eternity. There will permanent separation from God in hell.

FINALLY, it will be a day of the revelation of the substance of your relationship to God.

Look at verses 8 and 9: “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

The Pharisees said they had a relationship with God but they were hypocrites and there was no substance to their relationship. Jesus is saying that when the secrets of your heart are revealed God will determine the substance of your relationship to God and whether it is real or not.

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

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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

Livgren wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 276 My April 18, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner on Ecclesiastes 12 and message by Ken Whitten “Remember God in your youth” (Featured artist is Basim Magdy )

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.

2. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get into shape? Many Americans have great intentions at the start of a new year. Perhaps you have already purchased a gym membership or a piece of exercise equipment. If so, good for you! It’s important to get in shape and be healthy. I own a recumbent bike…and I love it. I work out on it nearly every day. I cycle miles on this bike and burn calories and increase my heart rate. The cool thing is: I don’t even have to leave my house…and in the rainy Pacific Northwest, this is a blessing. But if I am honest, it is a terribly boring and tedious way to exercise. When I look down at the odometer and it says I’ve cycled five miles, I’ve actually gone nowhere. I work up a sweat and ride until I am weary, yet I know that I am going to have to hop back on the bike all over again tomorrow. It is rather depressing!

Life is like riding on a recumbent bike. It is a boring, tedious, and repetitive ride. A thoughtful person will ask, “What is the purpose in life?” Have you ever asked this question? Most people have. For some of us, this question has plagued us over the course of our lives…even our Christian lives. A few years ago, scientists at John Hopkins University surveyed nearly 8,000 college students at forty-eight universities and asked what they considered “very important” to them. What do you think these college students said? Make a lot of money? Get married? Get a job? Buy a home? I can tell you this: only 16 percent answered “making a lot of money.” But a whopping 75 percent said that their first goal was “finding a purpose and meaning to my life.”3 This is a staggering piece of research, isn’t it?

In this New Year, maybe you are seeking to discover a purpose and meaning to your life. If so, the book of Ecclesiastes will guide you in this endeavor…but not in the way you might think.4Ecclesiastes has been dubbed, “the strangest book in the cannon [Bible].”5 It is an enigma for many Christians, for the bulk of this book is the memoirs of a man that is sharing his observations about what is wrong with life. In Eccl 1:1-11, we learn that life is fleeting and disappointing.

1. Life is fleeting (1:1-7).

In this first section, we will come to grips with the temporary nature of life. Inthe first three verses, the author introduces himself and his theme. Verse 1 begins: “The words6 of the Preacher,7 the son of David, king in Jerusalem.”8 Although our author chooses not to identify himself, his titles or pen names give him away as Solomon.9 Solomon’s story is recorded for us in the first eleven chapters of 1 Kings. Although King David had many sons, it was his son Solomon who was chosen to be heir to the throne. God so favored Solomon that He appeared to him in a dream offering Solomon whatever blessing he desired. Solomon astutely asked God for wisdom to lead the nation well. He asked for wisdom instead of riches and fame. God honored Solomon’s request, granting him not just unparalleled wisdom, but wealth and recognition as well.

Solomon wrote three books of the Bible: Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. He is considered the wisest and perhaps richest man that has ever lived. He had a fleet of ships that would bring gold to him every day from far off lands. Tragically, Solomon married a foreign woman, which was forbidden by God because of the temptation to be led astray spiritually. Ironically, it was this unwise decision to gain favor from different nations by taking foreign wives that diverted Solomon’s eyes from the one true God. Scripture records that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Truly, this diverted Solomon’s devotion, so that it is often said of him that he had a divided heart.

If we were to depict Solomon as someone more modern, he might be considered a mix between Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, HUGH HEFNER, and Brad Pitt. In Ecclesiastes, what philosophical conclusions does this rich powerful genius come to after living a life with everything at his fingertips? We would expect Solomon’s sermon to be entitled “Seven Habits of Highly Successful Kings.”10 In 1:2, Solomon gives the theme of his book.

“‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher, ‘Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.’”

[Solomon has argued that life is fleeting. In 1:8-11, he shares a second problem with life.]

2. Life is Disappointing (1:8-11).

In these next four verses, Solomon demonstrates that everything and everyone in life will ultimately disappoint us. There are three basic reasons for this: There is no satisfaction under the sun, there is nothing new under the sun, and no one is remembered under the sun.

  • No satisfaction under the sun (1:8). Solomon states that nothing is truly fulfilling. He writes, “All things are wearisome; man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing.”27 The Rolling Stones made famous the song, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Sadly, this song could have been written by Solomon himself. Just like Mick Jagger and the rest of the Stones, Solomon had it all…and then some, yet everything was wearisome to him since one can never say, see, or hear enough. Man just can’t get NO satisfaction! Have you seen a good movie? Read a good book? Listened to a great song? Enjoyed a restful vacation? Delighted in a special experience? It is never enough. It never satisfies, for ultimately you want MORE.

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Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard,Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee,  Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

In the letter I base most of what I had to Mr. Hefner on a sermon I heard from Ken Whitten. I also quoted Francis Schaeffer too.

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April 18, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Over and over again I have written you and compared your life to that of King Solomon the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes and today I am at it again. If there was one word to describe your life the word PLEASURE is probably that word. As you know I have written you every week since October of 2015 in the hope that you will be willing to reflect back on your life of pleasure UNDER THE SUN like King Solomon did and see what proper reflections your life has rendered. Francis Schaeffer has rightly noted concerning you that your goal  with the “playboy mentality is just to smash the puritanical ethnic.” In fact, in your own personal life you definitely have gone the opposite direction of Puritanism.

King Solomon

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Today we will look at the last chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes and also look at the sermon on that chapter by Ken Whitten of Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida. The sermon today is very appropriate for you since you are approaching your deathbed. In the article, “Hugh Hefner: 10 Truths Behind the Playboy Legend, 6:22 PM PDT 9/21/2011 by THR Staff the article notes:

8. HEFNER DOESN’T TALK ABOUT DEATH

He hardly ever talks about death, a close colleague says: “Even when [a longtime assistant] died, after the memorial, he never mentioned her again.” Is he afraid of the prospect? “No,” insists Hefner, an agnostic who professes no faith in any afterlife. “My mother lived to 101.”

Below is a portion of the Ecclesiastes sermon by Ken Whitten delivered in December 1998: 

The conclusion of the whole matter. Solomon has been a philosopher instead of a preacher. God had called him as a preacher but even preachers can get to the place where they think they are smarter than God. Solomon has left his first love. Solomon is the Old Testament prodigal. Solomon is the preacher who we get to gain from his mistakes. He has chased all the pretty bubbles in life. He has tried to find his life in wisdom and education but found it not. He tried to find his wealth and he thought like the world thinks and like Madison Ave teaches that if you get more than you are more, and if you are more then you will be more,  and he tried that but came up empty. He tried women. He tried lust. He had some many wives and so many concubines that even the beautiful gift that God gives to a husband and wife, he lost the treasure of that.

(Hugh you gave up your family to chase the skirts)

One by one he checks off his life and says “That’s not, that’s not, that’s not and he is coming back to God and Solomon wants us to understand as he remembers his life previously and where he is now. He goes back to the beginning of his life and he starts out by saying in Chapter 12:

Remember God in Your Youth

12 Remember [thoughtfully] also your Creator in the days of your youth [for you are not your own, but His], before the evil days come or the years draw near when you will say [of physical pleasures], “I have no enjoyment and delight in them”; before the sun and the light, and the moon and the stars are darkened [by impaired vision], and the clouds [of depression] return after the rain [of tears]; in the day when the keepers of the house (hands, arms) tremble, and the strong men (feet, knees) bow themselves, and the grinders (molar teeth) cease because they are few, and those (eyes) who look through the windows grow dim;when the doors (lips) are shut in the streets and the sound of the grinding [of the teeth] is low, and one rises at the sound of a bird andthe crowing of a rooster, and all the daughters of music (voice, ears) sing softly. Furthermore, they are afraid of a high place and of dangers on the road; the almond tree (hair) blossoms [white], and the grasshopper (a little thing) is a burden, and the [a]caperberry (desire, appetite) fails. For man goes to his eternal home and the mourners go about the streets and market places. Earnestly remember your Creatorbefore the silver cord [of life] is broken, or the golden bowl is crushed, or the pitcher at the fountain is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust [out of which God made man’s body] will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher. “All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity (futility).”

Purpose of the Preacher

Furthermore, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; and he pondered and searched out and arranged many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find delightful words, even to write correctly words of truth.

11 The words of the wise are like [prodding] goads, and these collected sayings are [firmly fixed in the mind] like well-driven nails; [b]they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond this my son, [about going further than the words given by one Shepherd], be warned: the writing of many books is endless [so do not believe everything you read], and excessive study and devotion to books is wearying to the body.

13 When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil.

Life is moving forward not backward. You are heading somewhere. Give attention to your salvation is what Solomon is saying here. FEAR GOD is the Old Testament way of saying BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BE SAVED. You are come to the place where you face God and make sure of your salvation. FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. The word of God is a road map to our life. The word of God says FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS this is the whole of man. The word DUTY is in italics and this means the whole of man. Our whole what?  Our whole body our whole soul, our whole body, our whole spirit.

The word of God has something to say to your body, your soul to your spirit. To your health, to your holiness, to your happiness. Fear God and keep his commandments. You know what I think Solomon is saying. If I had to do it over again I would have a little more fun, a little more faith and a little more fear in life. I would have feared God more and Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil.” All of us have secrets in our life that we probably would be ashamed of if you knew what we were thinking. 

Someone asked John Quincy Adams how he is doing.  “John Quincy Adams is quite well. But the house where he lives is becoming dilapidated. It is tottering. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it, and it is becoming quite uninhabitable. I shall have to move out soon. But John Quincy Adams is quite well, thank you.”

John Quincy Adams

Stuart Hamblen wrote:

It is no secret what God can do
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you
With arms wide open, He’ll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do

There is no night for in His light
You never walk alone
Always feel at home
Wherever you may go

There is no power can conquer you
While God is on your side
Take Him at His promise
Don’t run away and hide

Stuart Hamblen

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 Stuart Hamblen also wrote another song called THIS OLD HOUSE:

This ole house is a-gettin’ shaky
This ole house is a-gettin’ old
This ole house lets in the rain
This ole house lets in the cold
On my knees I’m gettin’ chilly
But I feel no fear or pain
‘Cause I see an angel peekin’
Through a broken window pane

Stuart Hamblen is talking about our body.

If you take 24 hour day and compare the minutes to a life’s span then when you are 15 years old it is 8:51am and when when you are 20 yrs old then it is 11:05am and 30 yrs old 1:25 pm and when you are 40 yrs old and it is 4:16pm and when you are 60 it is 10:11 pm and when you are 70 yrs old it is near midnight.

Solomon closes his Book of Ecclesiastes after saying to fear God is the final conclusion. ARE YOU READY TO MEET GOD TONITE?

_____

The spiritual answers your heart is seeking can be  found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Let me share with you the gospel according to the Book of Romans. Here is how it goes:

  • Because of our sin, we are separated from God.
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  • The Penalty for our sin is death.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ!
    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  • If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins!
    For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)
    …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS:This was the 31st letter that I have written to you and many of those letters have been on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Again it today is was responding to a quote from you.

Slim Whitman — It Is No Secret What God Can Do

THIS OLD HOUSE by STUART HAMBLEN

Read more: Elvis Presley – It Is No Secret (What God Can Do) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Featured artist is Basim Magdy

Basim Magdy was born in 1977 in Assiut, Egypt. He now lives in Basel and Cairo. His interest in the unconscious and memory is at the root of his often-surreal works on paper, film, photography, and installation.

Growing up with an artist father, Magdy was influenced by such artists as Joan Miró, Paul Klee, and Marc Chagall, as well as Hamid Nada, Abdel Hadi El-Gazzar, and Ragheb Ayad. Magdy has produced work that deals with both the imagined future as envisioned in the 1960s and the reality that ensued, exploring the space between reality and fiction and the role that media systematically plays in filling up that space. Since reading Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Jean Paul Sartre as a teenager, the artist has honed his use of absurdity to make visually arresting works.

Links:
Artist’s website

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 154j My April 7, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

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Image result for stephen hawking movie

Image result for stephen hawking

Image result for stephen hawking harry kroto

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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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, 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 PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 15th 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)

_________________________________

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.” –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

Earlier I responded to Dr. Hawking’s assertion.


My April 7, 2017 Letter to Stephen Hawking


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Image result for stephen hawking richard dawkins

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Larry Joe Speaks was 69 years old (his middle name came from his father Joe who fought in the BATTLE OF THE BULGE in World War 2)

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For 16 years Larry owned his store Southern Fruit & Grocery Sheridan, AR 72150

See outside

Map of Southern Fruit & Grocery
map expand icon

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Image result for mccain mall

Francis Schaeffer pictured below

Image result for francis schaeffer

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’, oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890

Image result for king solomon

Adrian Rogers pictured below

Image result for adrian rogers

The Passion of the Christ: The Crucifixion.

Image result for crucifixion of jesus the passion of christ

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April 7, 2017

Dr. Stephen Hawking, c/o Centre for Theoretical Cosmology
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
CB3 0WA, UK

Dear Dr. Hawking,

Since next Sunday is Easter I wanted to mention a few churches that would really benefit you spiritually if you tried them out. I got to see John Stott speak back in 1979 at ALL SOULS CHURCHin London and I believe that church is very close for you. I have also been blessed by listening to the sermons from HIGHFIELD CHURCH in Southampton but I don’t think that church is as near for you.

I discovered that on this morning of April 7, 2017  my good friend Larry Speaks has died and gone to heaven. Let me tell you a little about him. After Larry put is faith in Christ alone for his salvation over 20 years ago he got started on  a hobby of listening and  discussing some of the great sermons that he heard. One of those sermons was WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers. In fact, he asked me to run off some cassette tapes of that message  so he could give it to people who used to come into his store SOUTHERN FRUIT & GROCERY. After he sold the store he continued to give out this message and over the years I switched to putting it on CD’s for him to give out. Even the last years of his life he would go to McCain Mall and walk through the mall and give out the CD’s. He was thrilled that so many people were glad to get them, and he was disappointed when occasionally someone would decline to accept his gift.

I loved the movie THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING and read your book THE GRAND DESIGN . In the book I noticed that you wrote:

Another problem that mo del- dependent 
realism solves, or at least avoids, is the meaning of 
existence. How do I know that a table still exists if 
I go out of the room and can't see it? What does it 
mean to say that things we can't see, such as 
electrons or quarks— the particles that are said to 
make up the proton and neutron— exist?

I am glad that you are asking the big questions of life. That is what people at times like this. After Larry’s death I started thinking about death a lot.

In the last years of his life King Solomon took time to look back and then he wrote the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES. Solomon did believe in God but in this book he  took a look at life “UNDER THE SUN.” Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘UNDER THE SUN.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

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

Ecclesiastes 9:11

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

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

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

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

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

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

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

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

Ecclesiastes 4:16

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

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

Ecclesiastes 8:8

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

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

Ecclesiastes 9:12

12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Death can come at anytime. Death seen merely by the eye of man between birth and death and UNDER THE SUN. Death too is a thing of chance. Albert Camus speeding in a car with a pretty girl at his side and then Camus dead. Lawrence of Arabiacoming up over a crest of a hill 100 miles per hour on his motorcycle and some boys are standing in the road and Lawrence turns aside and dies.

 Surely between birth and death these things are chance. Modern man adds something on top of this and that is the understanding that as the individual man will dies by chance so one day the human race will die by chance!!! It is the death of the human race that lands in the hand of chance and that is why men grew sad when they read Nevil Shute’s book ON THE BEACH. 

__________

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture.  I am hoping that your good friend Woody Allen will also come to that same conclusion that Solomon came to concerning the meaning of life and man’s proper place in the universe in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

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

NOW BACK TO MY FRIEND LARRY SPEAKS. If Larry was here now he would urge you to listen to the message WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers. Therefore, I wanted to give you a little part of that message. Under the point THE PROPHETIC WITNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES Adrian Rogers talks about Psalm 22:

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The Amazing Prophecy of the Cross

Psalm 22 is an incredible chapter. Perhaps more than any other chapter in the Bible, you cannot read it and come away not loving the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Turn to Psalm 22. Just below the name of a psalm, often the name of the one who wrote it is given. Who is the human author of Psalm 22?

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, almost half (73) of the Bible’s 150 psalms were written by King David.

One thousand years before Jesus Christ, David prophetically foretold His crucifixion.

Since crucifixion was a Roman, not Jewish, form of execution, how is that possible?  Crucifixion was completely unknown to the Jewish culture. It would be another 800 years before crucifixion came into the Jewish world. But here we find by divine inspiration a portrait of the cross.

__

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: This is the FIRST of SEVEN letters I am writing you on ECCLESIASTES and SOLOMON’s SEARCH for MEANING

________

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April 2, 2015 – 7:05 am

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March 22, 2015 – 12:30 am

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March 19, 2015 – 12:21 am

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

March 12, 2015 – 12:16 am

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

March 5, 2015 – 4:47 am

Remembering Influence of Adrian Rogers on Society and Culture

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After being elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979, Adrian Rogers met with President Ronald Reagan.

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Earlier I wrote the post On 3-16-15 I found the first link between my spiritual heroes: Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer!!!!!

Francis and Edith Schaeffer pictured below:

 ________________

Below my good friend Byron Tyler from my old days in the Bellevue Baptist Youth Group interviews our former music director Jim Whitmire. I respect both of these gentlemen tremendously.

This was the average sanctuary crowd when I was growing up at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis.  Now take what you see and multiply it by three, because they had three morning services.  This photo was taken sometime in the early 1980’s

___________________

Adrian Rogers was my pastor from 1975 to 1983. I was amazed at he would teach the Bible and relate it to current events such as abortion. For instance, he stated, “Secular Humanism and so-called abortion rights are inseparably linked together.”

I took what he said and sent it to Carl Sagan and Sagan responded on December 5, 1995:

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.

Image result for carl sagan ann

(Carl Sagan and his third wife Ann Druyan pictured above)

Earlier I wrote a post entitled THE SERMON ON EVOLUTION BY ADRIAN ROGERS THAT I SENT TO OVER 250 ATHEIST SCIENTISTS FROM 1992 TO 2015! That sermon was on evolution and it generated quite a robust response from skeptics in academia.

In fact, I took excerpts from Dr. Rogers’ sermons and sent them out to many skeptics, and received responses back from Nobel prize winners such as Milton Friedman, George Wald, James D. Watson, and Nicolaas Bloembergen. Other scholars who took time to respond were Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), 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) , John Hospers (1918-2011), and Michael Martin (1932-).

I remember the first time I went to a Operation Mobilization (OM) conference in 1979. We first drove from Memphis to Toronto with Rev. Earl Stevens and his wife of First Evangelical Church for the North American OM Conference.

Then we attended the European conference in Belgium  and we first flew to Paris and rode in the back of a truck across France to Belgium. My good friend David Rogers and I were the only ones from the Bellevue Baptist youth group to go with OM that summer to go on missions in Europe. David went to Austria and I went to Manchester, England. David later served several years with OM.

Also during our trip David’s father was elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention. I was sitting next to David when he took the call from his father that he had decided to place his name into the election. 

Adrian Rogers stood up for the inerrancy of the Bible and he did that during his time as President of the Southern Baptist Convention. This story below discusses that key part of Southern Baptist history.

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This Memphis pastor helped chart the conservative course of the Southern Baptist Convention

KATHERINE BURGESS | MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL | 6:00 am CDT July 9, 2019

Joyce Rogers speaks about her husband, Memphis pastor Adrian Rogers, an influential Southern Baptist conservative.KATHERINE BURGESS, THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL

Forty years ago, a pastor from Memphis was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

He didn’t know it at the time, his wife said, but the election of Adrian Rogers would launch the “Conservative Resurgence” — called the “Fundamentalist Takeover” by its opponents — that solidified conservative control of the largest Protestant denomination in the country. 

For Rogers, the debate centered around how the Bible was viewed, said his wife Joyce Rogers, who recently spoke with The Commercial Appeal about her late husband. 

“He would like to be remembered as a man of God, one who stood for the Bible,” she said. “He would have died for his belief about the Bible.”

Adrian Rogers speaks at the 1988 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Adrian Rogers speaks at the 1988 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.SOUTHERN BAPTIST HISTORICAL LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES

By 1979, Southern Baptists had been fiercely divided for years, with particularly heated debates occurring in the seminaries, where many professors were accused of holding liberal views of the Bible.

Southern Baptists were divided among two camps called “conservatives” and “moderates.” The conservatives believed in the doctrine of inerrancy, which Baptist Press, the news arm of the convention, describes as “the doctrine that the Bible is completely free from error regarding theology, history, science and every other matter to which it speaks.”

Many of the moderates, according to Baptist Press, also believed in inerrancy but were comfortable with a variety of beliefs within the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Bill Leonard, professor emeritus at Wake Forest University who used to chair Baptist Studies, said it’s “academically impossible” to disengage politics from theology.

Memphis pastor Adrian Rogers was a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Memphis pastor Adrian Rogers was a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention.SOUTHERN BAPTIST HISTORICAL LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES

For example, many leaders in the conservative resurgence were closely allied with the Republican Party, Leonard said.

“Many of them were Southern Baptist in ways that would move the denomination as much as possible into becoming a consistent Republican base, a consistent voting block,” Leonard said. “We know now that 40 years later, that was also successful.”

Moderates in the convention had also advocated in favor of abortion access and the ordination of women.

Rogers was a reluctant candidate, seen as a ‘rising star’

Even as Southern Baptists began to gather in Houston for the 1979 annual meeting, Rogers hadn’t agreed to run.

That didn’t stop well-known pastor W. A. Criswell from telling pastors days before the election that, “We will have a great time here if for no other reason than to elect Adrian Rogers as our president.” 

The statement caught Joyce Rogers off guard.

“At first I was so mad at him, because I thought he (hadn’t) got permission to say that or anything,” she said. “But it became obvious that God was in it.”

Memphis pastor Adrian Rogers was a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention and a leader in the denomination's conservative resurgence.

Memphis pastor Adrian Rogers was a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention and a leader in the denomination’s conservative resurgence.BAPTIST PRESS

Some moderates were also watching Rogers.

According to Baptist Press, moderate C.R. Daley later said, “Some of us saw the rising star out of Memphis named Adrian Rogers — in my mind the most brilliant of his group, the one who poses the gravest threat to the Southern Baptist Convention. It was obvious that he was to be the king. It was obvious to some of us that he wasn’t the kind of king we wanted.”

Southern Baptist leaders Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler developed a strategy of how to take control of the Southern Baptist Convention.They determined that if conservatives won the presidency for 10 consecutive years, they could use the president’s appointive power to gain majorities on all Southern Baptist boards and agencies. That included the six seminaries and the two mission boards, said Barry Hankins, professor of history and department chair at Baylor University.

Patterson, who was later president of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has recently been discredited and removed as seminary head for his handling of sex abuse claims. Last year, Pressler was accused of rape and other sexual misconduct. He has denied the allegations, according to Baptist News Global.

But in 1979, Patterson and Pressler were influential and respected leaders. Pressler was a former state representative and a judge in Houston while Patterson was president of Criswell College in Dallas.

“What they needed was a good candidate, so they recruited Adrian Rogers to be the candidate they would run in 1979 to try and win,” Hankins said. “He was a winsome personality with a great preaching voice. He was staunchly conservative in his theology, in favor of conservatives having a sort of test for leadership in the convention, but he was not in any way a hard-edged personality type.”

If Rogers hadn’t been a pastor, he would have had to become some kind of orator, Hankins said, with his “golden voice.” In 1987, Rogers would go on to found “Love Worth Finding,” a television ministry that extended to 194 countries. 

At the time, Rogers was also pastor of one of the largest churches in the convention, Memphis’ Bellevue Baptist Church. The church was located in downtown Memphis, and rapidly growing.

By Rogers’ retirement in 2005, the church had grown from 9,000 members to more than 29,000 members and relocated to its campus in Cordova.

Hankins said his sense is that Rogers was able to “stay above the fray” during much of the division. He didn’t take on leadership because of politics, Hankins said, but because he believed the inerrancy of the Bible was necessary to furthering evangelism.

On the day of the election, Rogers was chosen with 51% of the vote.

Rogers was a pastor first

Raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, Rogers met his wife in the fourth grade. He liked to joke that they didn’t get serious until the sixth grade.

Joyce Rogers, who still lives in the Memphis area, said she isn’t sure how her husband developed his views about biblical inerrancy.

“I always say he was a man of conviction and courage,” she said. “He’d just sit with his Bible in his hand and see that (something) didn’t agree with what the Bible would say.” 

Adrian Rogers stands with his wife Joyce Rogers in a photo from before they were married. The couple were childhood sweethearts.

Adrian Rogers stands with his wife Joyce Rogers in a photo from before they were married. The couple were childhood sweethearts.SUBMITTED

Rogers became pastor of a small church during his freshman year of college at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. The couple married at the beginning of their second year of college.

Later, Rogers pastored a church in Merritt Island, Florida, but agreed to visit Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis when they said they wanted him as pastor. He told his church in Florida that he didn’t think he’d take on the job in Memphis, Joyce Rogers said, but when they arrived, “there was almost electricity in the air.”

Surprising the couple, leadership at Bellevue voted to approve Rogers then and there — before he said yes to accepting the position. The couple ended up agreeing and moving to Memphis, where Rogers remained until his death in 2005.

“His great desire in life was to be a pastor,” said the Rev. Bob Sorrell, who was associate pastor at Bellevue for many of Rogers’ years there. “That took first place in his life after his family. I think the service, as far as the convention was concerned, was an opportunity that was provided to him and for him, but his greatest desire was to be the pastor of the church.”

Even with speaking duties and other requirements as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Rogers made sure to almost always be in the pulpit at Bellevue on Sundays, Sorrell said.

A plan with no compromise

Joyce Rogers holds a photo of her late husband Adrian Rogers, who was a key leader in the Southern Baptist Convention's conservative resurgence.

Joyce Rogers holds a photo of her late husband Adrian Rogers, who was a key leader in the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence.KATHERINE BURGESS

Ultimately, Pressler and Patterson’s plan for the convention worked.

Rogers was the first in a long line of conservative presidents — culminating in a mid-1980s meeting in which 45,000 Southern Baptists showed up in Dallas to try to elect either a conservative or moderate candidate.

“By that time everyone realized what was at stake and both sides were recruiting, putting the word out, (saying to) go to the convention and vote,” Hankins said.

By the early 1990s, the convention was “fully in conservative hands,” Hankins said. Some moderate congregations left and formed the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Rogers later held two more terms as president in the 1980s.

There’s a quotation from her husband that was placed on a plaque and gifted to Joyce Rogers that now hangs on the wall outside her Memphis area home.

It’s known as the “no-compromise” statement that he made at the height of the struggle over the future of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“We don’t have to get together. The Southern Baptist Convention doesn’t have to survive,” Adrian Rogers said. “I don’t have to be the pastor of Bellevue. I don’t have to live. But I’m not going to compromise the word of God.” 

Katherine Burgess covers county government, religion and the suburbs. She can be reached at katherine.burgess@commercialappeal.com, 901-529-2799 or followed on Twitter @kathsburgess.

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The Remarkable Story of Professor Antony Flew —
The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Who Changed His Mind
There is No God (book cover)

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photo by John Lawrence

Antony Flew (photo by John Lawrence

 Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan.  I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? You may have noticed in the news a few years that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.Antony Flew wrote me back several times and in the  June 1, 1994 letter he  commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” I later sent him Adrian Rogers’ sermon on evolution too. 

 The ironic thing is back in 2008 I visited the Bellevue Baptist Book Store and bought the book There Is A God – How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, by Antony Flew, and it is in this same store that I bought the message by Adrian Rogers in 1994 that I sent to Antony Flew. Although Antony Flew did not make a public profession of faith he did admit that the evidence for God’s existence was overwhelming to him in the last decade of his life. His experience has been used in a powerful way to tell  others about Christ. Let me point out that while on airplane when I was reading this book a gentleman asked me about the book. I was glad to tell him the whole story about Adrian Rogers’ two messages that I sent to Dr. Flew and I gave him CD’s of the messages which I carry with me always. Then at McDonald’s at the Airport, a worker at McDonald’s asked me about the book and I gave him the same two messages from Adrian Rogers too.

Dr. Rogers on Evolution

With the steadfast support of friends like you, Love Worth Finding will continue to hold high the banner of Jesus Christ.

THREE TELLING ARGUMENTS AGAINST EVOLUTION

1. The fossil record. Not only is the so-called missing link still missing, all of the transitional life forms so crucial to evolutionary theory are missing from the fossil record. There are thousands of missing links, not one!
2. The second law of thermodynamics. This law states that energy is winding down and that matter left to itself tends toward chaos and randomness, not greater organization and complexity. Evolution demands exactly the opposite process, which is observed nowhere in nature.

Dr. George Wald of Harvard:

“When it comes to the origin of life, we have only two possibilities as to how life arose. One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no third possibility…Spontaneous generation was scientifically disproved one hundred years ago by Louis Pasteur, Spellanzani, Reddy and others. That leads us scientifically to only one possible conclusion — that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God…I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation arising to evolution.” – Scientific American, August, 1954.

3. The origin of life. Evolution offers no answers to the origin of life. It simply pushes the question farther back in time, back to some primordial event in space or an act of spontaneous generation in which life simply sprang from nothing.

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I actually had the chance to correspond with George Wald twice before his death. He wrote me two letters and in the first one he suggested that he was just using hyperbole when he made the assertion that is quoted by Dr. Rogers. He also suggested the religion of Buddhism although he said he was not a Buddhist himself, but he thought that would be closest to the truth which he thought was atheism.

My correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr!!!

My correspondence with Daniel Bell and Irving Kristol about the rebirth of Israel!!!!

Corresponding with Nobel Prize Winner Nicolaas Bloembergen

Related posts:

My correspondence with George Wald and Antony Flew!!!

May 12, 2014 – 1:14 am

During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know […]

Antony Flew in his book THERE IS A GOD talks about his “notoriety” as an atheist! ( also 7 News : Web Extra: Ricky Gervais on God)

May 9, 2014 – 1:24 am

  7News : Web Extra: Ricky Gervais on God Published on Mar 23, 2014 He’s not shy about sharing his opinion with 5 million social media followers so Ricky Gervais was happy to clear a few things up for us too. __________________________________ Discussion (2 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas ___________ The Bible and Science […]

Antony Flew tells what the book THERE IS A GOD is all about (Ricky Gervais talks about atheim on Piers Morgan Tonight)

May 8, 2014 – 1:07 am

Piers Morgan Tonight : CNN Official Interview: Ricky Gervais says atheism shouldn’t offend Uploaded on Jan 20, 2011 Ricky Gervais tells CNN’s Piers Morgan why he’s an atheist, and why his jokes about God shouldn’t offend believers. The Bible and Science (Part 01) __________________________________ Antony Flew tells what the book THERE IS A GOD: “How the world’s most […]

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 275 My February 8, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner on Ecclesiastes and the HOPELESS ROMANTIC (Featured artist is Tala Madani)

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Over 3,000 years ago, King Solomon wrote poignantly about his life and about the purpose and meaning of life in general “under the sun.”  His observations could be an appropriate epitaph for Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy empire:

 1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.

. . . 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. [Ecclesiastes 2:1-3, 10-11 (ESV)]

Perhaps as a metaphor for his pleasure-filled life, Hefner paid $75,000 for a crypt next to Marilyn Monroe, where presumably he will be buried.

As one evaluates the legacy of Hugh Hefner, it is difficult to say anything positive about that legacy.  Columnist Tim Morris observes that “Hefner didn’t love women [which he claimed].  He lusted for them.  He loved only himself and a hedonistic life that was mostly an adolescent fantasy.”  Jill Filipovic of Time argues, “What Hefner and Playboy never did was present women as human, or consider us anything like men.  Hefner made female sex objects more relatable and accessible . . . . Brilliantly, Hefner attached himself to the sexual revolution and the feminist gains that precipitated it.  From his vantage point, publishing a magazine full of naked women was just one part of the new culture of ‘free love.’”  In short, he built an empire on male desire!

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat offers the most honest evaluation of Hugh Hefner’s legacy I have read.  Permit me extensive quotation from his essay:

  • “Hef was the grinning pimp of the sexual revolution, with Quaaludes for the ladies and Viagra for himself—a father of smut addictions and eating disorders, abortions and divorce and syphilis, a pretentious huckster who published Updike stories no one read while doing flesh procurement for celebrities, a revolutionary whose revolution chiefly benefitted men much like himself.”
  • “Hef the vanquisher of puritanism, Hef the political progressive, Hef the great businessman and all the rest . . . What a lot of garbage . . . the things that were distinctly Hefnerian, that made him influential and important, were all rotten, and to the extent they were part of stories that people tend to celebrate, they showed the rot in larger things as well.”
  • “The social liberalism he championed was the rotten and self-interested sort, a liberalism of male and upper-class privilege, in which the strong and beautiful and rich take their pleasure at the expense of the vulnerable and poor and not-yet-born.”
  • “And his appreciation of male-female difference was rotten, too—the leering predatory sort of appreciation, the Cosby-Clinton-Trump sort, the sort that nicknames Quaaludes ‘thigh openers’ and expects the girls to laugh, the sort that prefers breast implants to female intellect and rents the charms of youth to escape the realities of age.”
  • “But in every way that mattered he made those changes worse, our culture coarser and crueler and more sterile than liberalism or feminism or freedom of speech required. And in every way that mattered his life story proved that we were wrong to listen to him, because at the end of the long slide lay only a degraded, priapic senility, or the desperate gaiety of Prince Prospero’s court with the Red Death at the door.”
  • “Conservatives should ask how their crusade for faith and family and community ended up so Hefnerian itself—with a conservative news network that seems to have been run on Playboy principles and a conservative party that just elected a playboy as our president.”

As many have observed, Hugh Hefner validated the objectification of women.  But he did so by embracing and championing libertinism and materialism which hid the reality of philandering, licentiousness and exploitation–all in the name of freedom!  Hefner viewed himself as a moral revolutionary, one who “opened up the floodgates” of sexual libertinism which Playboy encouraged, commercialized and symbolized.  He thereby transformed American sexual morality by intentionally breaking down the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic that once defined American civilization.

Theologian Albert Mohler maintains that Hefner not only advocated a lifestyle of sexual libertinism but he also advocated a theology.  In an interview, Hefner declared that he was a “spiritual person, but I don’t mean that I believe in the supernatural.”  He believed in God as creator but not in “the God of the Bible.”  He championed that “I urge one and all to live life as if there is no reward in the afterlife and to do it in a moral way that makes it better for you and those around you, and that leaves this world a little better place than when you found it.”  Hefner’s moral philosophy and “theology” of libertinism and exploitation are now mainstreamed in American culture.  That is his legacy.

Hefner was not a moral revolutionary but a peddler of smut in the name of freedom.  His “freedom” produced bondage and enslavement to a sexual fantasy that has destroyed both men and women.  He died a pathetic, debauched, degraded old man who personified decadence not liberation.

King Solomon concluded his sobering evaluation of life with this observation about death:

This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.  [Ecclesiastes 9:3 (ESV)]

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.  [Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (ESV)]

Hugh Hefner has now experienced the great equalizer—death.  He also now realizes that there is a God, the God of the Bible, and he will need to give an account of the life he has lived.  What a tragedy; what a waste!

See Ross Douthat in the New York Times (1 October 2017); Jill Filipovic in www.time.com (30 September 2017); Tim Morris in www.nola.com (2 October 2017); and Albert Mohler in www.albertmohler.com (14 October 2015). PRINT PDF

Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard,Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee,  C.S. Lewis, Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson, Blaise Pascal, Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Ethan Renoe, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and  Richard Zowie.

In this letter below I quote extensively from an article by Ethan Renoe. I also use quotes from Blaise Pascal and C. S. Lewis.  I also quoted Ravi Zacharias when I wrote, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

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The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’, oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890

Hugh Hefner with the movie maker Woody Allen below:

February 8, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

You have made it known how much you love your movie nights and also that you are a big fan of Woody Allen movies. I have also seen you talk of your glorious past. However, did you know that you may have overlooked some of the negative things that happened in your past.  On CBS THIS MORNING 4-9-14 you said you don’t deserve the label of “womanizer” but you are just a “hopeless romantic.” Is this just spinning the past to remove all the negative so you have a golden period? This is what people sometimes call GOLDEN AGE THINKING. People try to either glorify their past in comparison to the present or they try to visualize a time in the past that was golden and they would have been happy in that period.

Marion Cotillard plays Adriana and Owen Wilson plays Gil Pender

Woody Allen’s film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is brilliant and I am sure you enjoyed it HUGH!!!!

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Later in this letter I share some words from Ethan Renoe and he talks about a summer that he had a lot of great experiences and anytime he thinks back on that  summer his memory is influenced by nostalgia and a longing to go back. He doesn’t recall the negative aspects. YOU MY FRIEND CAN NOT GO TO BED WITH 1000 WOMEN WITHOUT BEING A WOMANIZER.

In this series of letters I have written to you I have often compared you to King Solomon who was the 2nd most wise person mentioned in the Bible behind only Jesus. You should find it intriguing that I have noticed that many hundreds of preachers have mentioned you also in comparison to Solomon. In this letter I want to look both at the Woody Allen movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and the final conclusion that Solomon gives in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender concludes there is no GOLDEN AGE, but people dream of a GOLDEN AGE because they find the PRESENT AGE unsatisfying. Actually Solomon said a long time ago,  “[God]has placed eternity on the hearts of men.” Scientist Blaise Pascal put it this way,  “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” No wonder life is unsatisfying to Gil since he is an agnostic that is not seeking a relationship with God. King Solomon wrote 3,000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes that attempting to find satisfaction in life UNDER THE SUN is equal to CHASING THE WIND. Take a look at a portion of an excellent article by Ethan Renoe:

Eternity In Paris

MAY 8, 2012 / ETHANRENOE

midnight in paris top post-thumb-600x400-53668

I have this new theory. It’s not based in anything really, but tell me if you agree. This post is going to be rather extensive in its scope, as I attempt to critique a Woody Allen film, present a theory on memories, and include a Biblical basis for all of it.

The theory is this: Every time you think back to a memory from your own past, you are not thinking directly back to the event itself; you are thinking of the last time you thought of it. You are recalling the feelings, emotions, and colors present the last time you thought of the previous memory. For example, the summer of 2007 was the greatest time of my life. Every day was painted with scenes from the best romantic comedies, mixed with endless East coast adventures, and wrapped in the blanket of my three best friends and I doing everything together.

Now, for the sake of explanation, let’s say I have thought of this summer five times since it happened. By that, I mean I really thought about it and everything that happened over those three months. So, whenever my mind glances in the rear view mirror to that time period, I have to access it through the tunnels of the previous five times I thought of it. In other words, my mind must take a detour through all the times I have recalled it before, rather than taking a highway directly to the events themselves. When this occurs, I also see the summer of ’07 through the fog of all the emotions I had the other five times I thought of it. In this situation, the typical emotion held toward that summer is nostalgia and a longing to go back. In reality,I am sure that there were parts of the summer that were not so great, but because of the detours through my other memories, I can’t see them now. I am convinced that there were things happening in my life that were not enjoyable, or decisions that did not turn out my way, or some other longings I was entertaining at the time. In this way, the memories only get blurrier and blurrier as an icon from my life of a time when things were perfect.

Woody Allen explored this phenomena in his film Midnight in Paris, and dubbed the occurrence ‘Golden Age Thinking.’ Now some readers of my blog may see this review as an excuse to talk once more about the dazzling Marion Cotillard.  You would not be wrong. However, Allen presents a few compelling ideas in this piece. Owen Wilson plays Gil; a romantic screenwriter who daydreams about seeing Paris in the 1920’s when it is raining. Somehow, he gets his wish when on a walk one night in Paris and a cab full of old-timey people pulls up and invites him in. He enters and is taken back to the time of Hemingway, Dali, Picasso, and Cole Porter. He is in love with the time. Every night, he returns to the enchanted time of the 20’s, and every morning returns to his drag of a fiancee. Soon after the time travels begin, he meets the mysteriously beautiful Adriana (Cotillard), the supposed muse of Picasso and Hemingway, and is smitten. After a couple nights spent  wandering in and out of parties and the streets of Paris in the 1920’s, Adriana reveals that she would much rather live in the time of la Belle Epoque; about a century earlier. They travel back in time even further, this time by magical horse drawn carriage, to the 1890’s. Adriana is overjoyed and wants to stay there rather than in her own time; the 1920’s.

One of the main ideas Allen is conveying here is that everyone has a time they view as the ‘Golden Age;’ the time when nothing was wrong and everything was perfect and alive and beautiful.  Even people living in our own personal golden ages. I’m sure that the Ethan living in the summer of 2007 was longing for some time other than the one he was in then, just as the Ethan writing this now does.

Someone else took note of this empty yearning that every human has, several millennia prior to Woody. The wisest man alive, in fact. I know I have used this scripture before, but that’s because I find it so central to the human experience that to overlook it is pure foolishness. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that “He has placed eternity on the hearts of men.” How many of you long for THAT? How many of you have ever said to yourself, “Boy, I wish I could just go back to forever, when everything was good and okay?” We can’t even fathom eternity, therefore, we cannot even comprehend longing for it. C.S. Lewis is famously quoted in his short piece “The Weight of Glory” for writing,  “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak.” The kind of desire that each one of us has is placed in us for a reason–not to bring us to satisfaction in the promising, yet empty, objects of the world, but in Him [Jesus] alone! There’s a reason that every human being has an unquenchable thirst for another time period, place, or group of friends. We have eternity planted in our hearts. We wants things we can’t even comprehend.This is why the past looks perfect to us only from one side, hindsight, and the present is always left unsatisfied…

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER PICTURED BELOW:

Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes and he penned the words, “[God] has placed eternity on the hearts of men.” Solomon is pursuing satisfaction in life UNDER THE SUN in the Book of Ecclesiastes. FRANCIS SCHAEFFER noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” However, even though Solomon is finding all these pursuits are dead ends he also has this eternity that has been placed in his heart.

BLAISE PASCAL pictured below:

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Again this brings me back full circle to Pascal. BLAISE PASCAL, a famous French mathematician and philosopher, put it like this: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” That ties in nicely with with Ecclesiastes 3:11  “He has placed eternity on the hearts of men.”

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: This is the 17th letter I have written to you and again I have taken an aspect of your life and responded with what the Bible has to say on that subject. HUGH you may look back on the 1000 women that you slept with and try to rationalize that you are a HOPELESS ROMANTIC but just like Solomon you must admit that your pursuits at womanizing was like an effort of  CHASING THE WIND. Don’t you see that Solomon was an old man when he wrote Ecclesiastes and just like you he had also slept with 1000 women but he had not found satisfaction UNDER THE SUN. In fact he exclaimed, GOD HAS PLACED ETERNITY ON THE HEARTS OF MEN!!!! Don’t you think it is time that you take Solomon’s advice in the last chapter?  “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

Featured artist is Tala Madani

Tala Madani was born in Tehran, Iran in 1981. She skewers stereotypes in her sharply satirical paintings that evoke clashes of culture: men and women, the rational and the absurd, Western and non-Western. Madani’s figurative paintings often feature a riotous cast of middle-aged men, balding and stocky, whose libidinal mayhem wreaks havoc on any situation the artist thrusts them into. Acerbic caricatures of both machismo and a childlike desire for mischief, the physical comedy at work in Madani’s paintings is anchored by intense pleasures, pathos, and a pervasive sense of violence.

The history of painting itself is also a target in Madani’s witty works, with spread-eagled characters resembling Color Field paintings, or characters wearing stripes appearing to be both prisoners and Minimalist abstractions. Painted with quick gestures, where oozing paint often doubles as bodily fluids, food, and stains, Madani’s compositions are derived from sketchbooks where countless studies provide the skeleton for her speedy execution. Madani’s pictures are also transformed into stop-motion animations where the artist photographs a freshly created scene over time—wet paint still glistening—resulting in stories of small calamities that are once hilarious, tender, and ghoulish.

Tala Madani attended Yale University (MFA, 2006) and Oregon State University, Corvallis (BFA, 2004). Madani’s awards and residencies include a Tiffany Foundation grant (2014), the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting (2013), ArtPace Residency (2013), De Volkskrant Art Award (2012), Future Generation Art Prize (shortlisted, 2012), British School of Rome (2010), and The Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2007). Madani has had major exhibitions at the MIT List Center for Contemporary Art (2016); CAM, St. Louis (2016); Nottingham Contemporary (2014); Taipei Biennial (2014); Marrakech Biennale (2014); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2013); Moderna Museet, Malmö (2013); Göteborg Biennial (2013); Stedelijk Museum (2011); Venice Biennale (2011); MoMA P.S. 1, New York (2010); Liverpool Biennial, (2010); and The New Museum, New York (2009). Tala Madani lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Links:
Artist on Facebook

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Kansas Jayhawk’s depth eye-opening for freshman point guard Issac McBride (formerly of Baptist Prep)

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KU’s depth eye-opening for freshman point guard Issac McBride 

Matt Tait

Story by Matt Tait

Friday, July 5, 2019

Kansas newcomer Issac McBride throws a pass during a scrimmage on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Throughout his time as a standout basketball player on the Arkansas prep hoops scene, Kansas freshman Issac McBride made a name for himself as a prolific scorer. 

Last season, as a senior at Baptist Prep in Little Rock, Ark., McBride averaged 29 points per game and earned All-State and Gatorade Player of the Year honors. 

But he might not need to tap into those skills quite as much during his freshman season at KU.

“This is the deepest roster I’ve ever played on in my life, the deepest roster I’ve ever seen,” McBride said recently during a break in summer workouts. “I mean, I know our names don’t scream McDonalds All-Americans across the board, but I feel like, at the end of the day, when you get to college, all that five-star stuff and McDonalds All-American (designation) goes out the door.”

So what can that type of talent and depth do for a player like McBride, who, when on the floor, figures to be asked to run the team and get others involved before looking to add to his own point total? 

“It definitely gives us confidence,” he said, speaking of KU’s point guards as a whole. 

One of those point guards, of course, is sophomore Devon Dotson, who elected to return to KU for a second season instead of taking his chances in the NBA Draft. 

Dotson took his decision down to the wire, pulling his name out of the draft just a few hours before the deadline hit. And McBride admitted recently that he was watching the entire time. But he never let what might happen factor into his thinking about the future. 

“No, sir,” he said. “I mean, we’re just playing basketball. I know that may seem cliché or a vague statement. But at the end of the day we’ve got some players. I wished him [Dotson] the best of luck in (testing) the draft waters, but I had a feeling that he was going to come back and try to lead this team to where we need to go.”

Now that they’re here to do that together, McBride is eager to see just what he and Dotson can get out of the rest of the KU roster. 

“When you look at this lineup, you see experience and you see guys that are ready to go each and every day,” McBride said. “The team we have right now is experienced and we have a lot of depth and we’ll be able to shoot the ball better. It’s different out there (during a camp scrimmage). But when you see it in a game, you’ll be able to see the improvements we’re making in practice.”

McBride very well could be one of those players who plays an important role as a shooter for the Jayhawks this season. During his senior season, McBride shot 47.5% from 3-point range and his elevation on every attempt and attention to proper technique are signature traits of his jumper.

McBride knows, however, that he still has some work to do before he gets a consistent opportunity to add to KU’s outside shooting. 

“(Guys) getting under me and playing at a faster pace, I’m going to have to get used to that, of course,” said McBride when asked what he planned to work on the rest of the summer. “I’m just trying to be me within the game and be aggressive, not be timid. That’s one thing I’ll probably continue to work on all summer.

“(I’m) definitely getting used to the speed and the pressure. I could break anybody down in high school, but now Devon is pushing me and they’re telling me to push him, but he’s definitely getting on me and he’s telling me, ‘Hey, man, we’re going to need you.’”

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 154i My January 29, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

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Image result for stephen hawking harry kroto

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

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 PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 15th 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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In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.” –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

Earlier I responded to Dr. Hawking’s assertion.

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I confronted D. James Kennedy about some of the UNCONFIRMED QUOTES that he was using concerning the FOUNDING FATHERS and he wrote me back explaining why he thought it was alright to use these quotes. 

Image result for d. james kennedy capitol

Letter # dated 1-29-17

Richard Dawkins & Daniel Dennett vs. Francis Collins & Benjamin Carson – Evolution Debate

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Bach

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Francis Schaeffer

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Charles Darwin photograph by Herbert Rose Barraud, 1881

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Mark Henry, teaching pastor of Fellowship Bible Church

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Isaac Newton

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Louis Pasteur below

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Michael Faraday

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Henri Fabre

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Blaise Pascal

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January 29, 2017

Dr. Stephen Hawking, c/o Centre for Theoretical Cosmology
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
CB3 0WA, UK

Dear Dr. Hawking,

Something was said in  the sermon today that made me think of something you wrote in one of your books. I have now finished your  book THE GRAND DESIGN and I wanted to comment on it. Here is quote from your book THE GRAND DESIGN:

But if one takes the biblical view, then God 
not only created the laws but can be appealed to by 
prayer to make exceptions— to heal the terminally 
ill, to bring premature ends to droughts, or to 
reinstate croquet as an Olympic sport. In 
opposition to Des cartes' s view, almost all Christian 
thinkers maintained that God must be able to 
suspend the laws to accomplish miracles.

You may not be able to see a miracle performed right before your eyes but as a student of history can’t you see all the unbelievable good results that Christianity has brought to the world? You might wonder what our sermon had to do with what you said. The answer is that because of Christianity there has been an enormous amount of good done through the centuries since Christ left this earth and sent his Holy Spirit.  Actually our teaching pastor Mark Henry of FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock, Arkansas, pointed out that the Holy Spirit has empowered many Christians over the centuries to empty their hearts of their own worldly desires and to serve God through their actions. That is why I also wrote Richard Dawkins about the same subject. Instead of repeating everything I said to Richard I will just include his letter.

The reason that I have taken the time to read  your book is that  I am an evangelical Christian and I have enjoyed developing relationships with skeptics and humanists over the years. Back in 1996 I took my two sons who were 8  and 10 yrs old back then to New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey and we had dinner one night with Herbert A. Tonne, who was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II. The Late Professor John George who has written books for Prometheus Press was my good friend during the last 10 years of his life. We often ate together and were constantly talking on the phone and writing letters to one another.

It is a funny story how I met Dr. George. As an evangelical Christian and a member of the Christian Coalition, I felt obliged to expose a misquote of John Adams’ I found in an article entitled “America’s Unchristian Beginnings” by the self-avowed atheist Dr. Steven Morris. However, what happened next changed my focus to the use of misquotes, unconfirmed quotes, and misleading attributions by the religious right.

In the process of attempting to correct Morris, I was guilty of using several misquotes myself. Professor John George of the University of Central Oklahoma political science department and coauthor (with Paul Boller Jr.) of the book THEY NEVER SAID IT! set me straight. George pointed out that George Washingtonnever said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. I had cited page 18 of the 1927 edition of HALLEY’S BIBLE HANDBOOK. This quote was probably generated by a similar statement that appears in A LIFE OF WASHINGTON by James Paulding. Sadly, no one has been able to verify any of the quotes in Paulding’s book since no footnotes were offered.

After reading THEY NEVER SAID IT! I had a better understanding of how widespread the problem of misquotes is. Furthermore, I discovered that many of these had been used by the leaders of the religious right. I decided to confront some individuals concerning their misquotes. WallBuilders, the publisher of David Barton’s THE MYTH OF SEPARATION, responded by providing me with their “unconfirmed  quote” list which contained a dozen quotes widely used by the religious right.

Sadly some of the top leaders of my own religious right have failed to take my encouragement to stop using these quotesand they have either claimed that their critics were biased skeptics who find the truth offensive or they defended their own method of research and claimed the secondary sources were adequate. Even though I have quoted extensively from D. James Kennedy’s book What if Jesus Had Never Been BornKennedy was one of the leaders who failed to remove his quotes even though I gave him evidence that they were UNCONFIRMED QUOTES. 

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, cell ph 501-920-5733, P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, everettehatcher@gmail.com

___________________

1-29-17

Richard Dawkins c/o Richard Dawkins Foundation, 1012 14th Street NW, Suite 209
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

I know that you are good friends with Daniel Dennett and I have noticed how many times he quotes you in his books.  He was kind enough to send me a very thoughtful response on January 12, 2017, and it just so happens that I am in the middle of reading his book DARWIN’S DANGEROUS IDEA. Of course, I have read several of your books  such as  The God DelusionAn Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

I also recently enjoyed watching both you and Dr.  Dennett on Jonathan Miller’s BBC program Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief.  Francis Schaeffer used to quote Jonathan Miller back in the 1960’s during his teachings at L ‘Abri.

In your book The God Delusion on page 111 you stated:

I once was the guest of the week on a British radio show called Desert Island Discs. You have to choose the eight records you would take with you if marooned on a desert island. Among my choices was ‘Mache dich mein Herze rein’ from Bach’s St Matthew Passion. The interviewer was unable to understand how I could choose religious music without being religious. You might as well say, how can you enjoy Wuthering Heights when you know perfectly well that Cathy and Heathcliff never really existed?

But there is an additional point that I might have made, and which needs to be made whenever religion is given credit for, say, the Sistine Chapel or Raphael’s Annunciation. Even great artists have to earn a living, and they will take commissions where they are to be had. I have no reason to doubt that Raphael and Michelangelo were Christians – it was pretty much the only option in their time – but the fact is almost incidental. Its enormous wealth had made the Church the dominant patron of the arts. If history had worked out differently, and Michelangelo had been commissioned to paint a ceiling for a giant Museum of Science, mightn’t he have produced something at least as inspirational as the Sistine Chapel? How sad that we shall never hear Beethoven’s Mesozoic Symphony, or Mozart’s opera The Expanding Universe.

I thought of that quote from you today when I was in church. Our teaching pastor Mark Henry of FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock, Arkansas, pointed out that the Holy Spirit has empowered many Christians over the centuries to empty their hearts of their own worldly desires and to serve God through their actions.

2 RESPONSES TO YOUR ASSERTION THAT AN EARLIER ACCEPTANCE OF EVOLUTION WOULD HAVE ENRICHED MUSIC AND THE ARTS.

First, we have the testimony of Charles Darwin himself concerning this.

Second, we have the actual result of what Christianity’s impact on the world was.

Let us take a quick look at your idea of Mozart’s opera THE EXPANDING UNIVERSE. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published lettersI also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words.

 CHARLES DARWIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Addendum. Written May 1st, 1881 [the year before his death].

I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did…

This curious and lamentable loss of the higher æsthetic tastes is all the odder, as books on history, biographies, and travels (independently of any scientific facts which they may contain), and essays on all sorts of subjects interest me as much as ever they did. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. A man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than mine, would not, I suppose, have thus suffered; and if I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is the old man Darwin writing at the end of his life. What he is saying here is the further he has gone on with his studies the more he has seen himself reduced to a machine as far as aesthetic things are concerned. I think this is crucial because as we go through this we find that his struggles and my sincere conviction is that he never came to the logical conclusion of his own position, but he nevertheless in the death of the higher qualities as he calls them, art, music, poetry, and so on, what he had happen to him was his own theory was producing this in his own self just as his theories a hundred years later have produced this in our culture. I don’t think you can hold the evolutionary position as he held it without becoming a machine. What has happened to Darwin personally is merely a forerunner to what occurred to the whole culture as it has fallen in this world of pure material, pure chance and later determinism. Here he is in a situation where his mannishness has suffered in the midst of his own position.

Let’s take a closer look at the music by Bach that you call your favorite.

NO LUTHER, NO BACH

NOVEMBER 18, 20127 COMMENTS

From Francis Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live? (p. 92):

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was certainly the zenith of the composers coming out of the Reformation. His music was a direct result of the Reformation culture and the biblical Christianity of the time, which was so much a part of Bach himself. There would have been no Bach had there been no Luther. Bach wrote on his score initials representing such phrases as: “With the help of Jesus” – “To God alone be the glory” – “In the name of Jesus.” It was appropriate that the last thing Bach the Christian wrote was “Before Thy Throne I Now Appear.” Bach consciously related both the form and the words of his music to biblical truth. Out of the biblical context came a rich combination of music and words and a diversity of unity. This rested on the fact that the Bible gives unity to the universal and the particulars, and therefore the particulars have meaning. Expressed musically, there can be endless variety and diversity without chaos. There is variety yet resolution.

And this is why I love Bach.

IF JESUS WAS IN FACT A REAL MAN AND THE HOLY SPIRIT DID UPON HIS DISCIPLES THEN YOU WOULD EXPECT THE WORLD TO BE CHANGED.

___What if Jesus Had Never Been Bornby D. James Kennedy This book documents the positive impact Jesus Christ and the Christian Church has made on the world in nearly every conceivable area – morality, health, sex, hospitals, art, music, charity, economics, government, science, education and the founding of America. Some critics believe that all these advances would have happened sooner or later, but there is little evidence to support this other then hopeful conjecture. Despite excesses by self proclaimed Christians over the ages, the problems have not been due to Jesus’ teachings, rather the failure to follow those teachings. Even with imperfect people, Christianity has had a much more positive impact on the world than any other religion. This book is desperately needed to counter the constant attacks on the Christian faith.We need to understand that the changes made by Christianity did not happen overnight. Many people  – most couldn’t read or write – became Christian without examining or having the ability to examine current belief systems. At a time when books were only available to a select group of people – and then in limited number, it took decades for changes in morality to take hold of society as a whole.
It certainly is true that Christianity has had  shortcomings. However, the sins of the Church were no worse then the pagan world. Christianity at its worst was far better then Paganism at its best. Whereas the pagan world could never advance morally, the shortcomings of the Christian church were an aberration that were corrected by itself over time. Excerpts from the book: “Jesus Christ, the greatest man who ever lived, has changed virtually every aspect of human life – and most people don’t know it.”
 “Despite its humble origins, the Church has made more changes on earth for the good than any other movement or force in history. To get an overview of some of the positive contributions Christianity has made through the centuries, here are a fewhighlights:• Hospitals, which essentially began during the Middle Ages.• Universities, which also began during the Middle Ages. In addition, most of the world’s greatest universities were started by Christians for Christian purposes.• Literacy and education for the masses.• Capitalism and free-enterprise.• Representative government, particularly as it has been seen in the American experiment.• The separation of political powers.• Civil liberties.• The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and in more modern times.• Modem science.• The discovery of the New World by Columbus.• The elevation of women.• Benevolence and charity; the good Samaritan ethic.• Higher standards of justice.• The elevation of the common man.• The condemnation of adultery, homosexuality, and other sexual perversions. This has helped to preserve the human race, and it has spared many from heartache.• High regard for human life.• The civilizing of many barbarian and primitive cultures.• The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world’s languages.• Greater development of art and music. The inspiration for the greatest works of art.• The countless changed lives transformed from liabilities into assets to society because of the gospel. •  The eternal salvation of countless souls! The last one mentioned, the salvation of souls, is the primary goal of the spread of Christianity. All the other benefits listed are basically just by-products of what Christianity has often brought when applied to daily living.  When Jesus Christ took upon Himself the form of man, He imbued mankind with a dignity and inherent value that had never been dreamed of before. Whatever Jesus touched or whatever He did transformed that aspect of human life. Many people will read about the innumerable small incidents in the life of Christ while never dreaming that those casually mentioned “little” things were to transform the history of humankind. Christ’s influence on the world is immeasurable. The purpose of this book is to glimpse what we can measure, to see those numerous areas of life where Christ’s influence can be concretely traced. Not all have been happy about Jesus Christ’s coming into the world. Friederich Nietzsche, the nineteenth-century atheist philosopher  who coined the phrase “God is dead,” likened Christianity to poison that has infected the whole world.  Nietzsche said that history is the battle between Rome (the pagans) and Israel (the Jews and the Christians); and he be-moaned the fact that Israel (through Christianity) was winning and that the cross “has by now triumphed over all other, nobler virtues.”  In his book,The Antichrist, Nietzsche wrote: I condemn Christianity; I bring against the Christian Church the most terrible of all the accusations that an accuser has ever had in his mouth. It is, to me, the greatest of all imaginable corruption; it seeks to work the ultimate corruption, the worst possible corruption. The Christian Church has left nothing untouched by its depravity; it has turned every value into worthlessness, and every truth into a lie, and every integrity into baseness of soul. Nietzsche held up as heroes a “herd of blond beasts of prey, a race of conquerors and masters.” According to Nietzsche, and later Hitler, by whom or what were these Teutonic warriors corrupted? Answer: Christianity. “This splendid ruling stock was corrupted, first by the Catholic laudation of feminine virtues, secondly by the Puritan and plebeian ideals of the Reformation, and thirdly by intermarriage with inferior stock.” Had Jesus never come, wailed Nietzsche, we would never have had the corruption of “slave morals” into the human race. Many of the ideas of Nietzsche were put into practice by his philosophical disciple, Hitler, and about 16 million died as a result. In Mein Kampf, Hitler blamed the Church for perpetuating the ideas and laws of the Jews. Hitler wanted to completely uproot Christianity once he had finished uprooting the Jews. In a private conversation “shortly after the National Socialists’ rise to power,” recorded by Herman Rauschning, Hitler said: Historically speaking, the Christian religion is nothing but a Jewish sect…. After the destruction of Judaism, the extinction of Christian slave morals must follow logically… . I shall know the moment when to confront, for the sake of the German people and the world, their Asiatic slave morals with our picture of the free man, the godlike man…. It is not merely a question of Christianity and Judaism. We are fighting against the most ancient curse that humanity has brought upon itself. We are fighting against the perversion of our soundest instincts. Ah, the God of the deserts, that crazed, stupid, vengeful Asiatic despot with his powers to make laws! … That poison with which both Jews and Christians have spoiled and soiled the free, wonderful instincts of man and lowered them to the level of doglike fright. Both Nietzsche and Hitler wished that Christ had never been born. Others share this sentiment. For example, Charles Lam Markmann, who wrote a favorable book on the history of the ACLU, entitled The Noblest Cry, said: “If the otherwise admirably civilized pagans of Greece and their Roman successors had had the wit to laugh Judaism into desuetude, the world would have been spared the 2000-year sickness of Christendom.”… the point of this book is to say to Nietzsche, Freud, Hitler, Robert Ingersoll, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Madalyn Murray O’Hare, Phil Donahue, the ACLU, and other leading anti-Christians of the past and present, that the overwhelming impact of Christ’s life on Planet Earth has been positive, not negative. What these people refuse to acknowledge is that civil liberties have been bequeathed by Christianity and not by atheism or humanism. Prior to the coming of Christ, human life on this planet was exceedingly cheap. Life was expendable prior to Christianity’s influence.  Even today, in parts of the world where the gospel of Christ or Christianity has not penetrated, life is exceedingly cheap. But Jesus Christ … gave mankind a new perspective on the value of human life. Furthermore, Christianity bridged the gap between the Jews – who first received the divine revelation that man was made in God’s image – and the pagans, who attributed little value to human life. Meanwhile, as we in the post-Christian West abandon our Judeo-Christian heritage, life is becoming cheap once again. Children:In the ancient world, child sacrifice was a common phenomenon.  Only about half of the children born lived beyond the age of eight, in part because of widespread infanticide, with famine and illness also being factors. Infanticide was not only legal, it was applauded…it was commonly held in Rome that killing one’s own children could be an act of beauty. But then Jesus came. Since that time, Christians have cherished life as sacred, even the life of the unborn. In ancient Rome, Christians saved many of these babies and brought them up in the faith.  Abortion disappeared in the early church. Infanticide and abandonment disappeared. Foundling homes, orphanages, and nursery homes were started to house the children. These new practices, based on this higher view of life, helped to create a foundation in western civilization for an ethic of human life that persists to this day – although it is currently under severe attack. And it all goes back to Jesus Christ. If He had never been born, we would never have seen this change in the value of human life. Women:Prior to Christian influence, a woman’s life was also very cheap. In ancient cultures, the wife was the property of her husband. Prior to the Christian influences in India, widows were voluntarily or involuntarily burned on the husbands funeral pyres – a grisly practice known as suttee.  Furthermore, infanticide – particularly for girls – was common in India, prior to the great missionary William Carey.  These centuries-old practices, suttee and infanticide, were finally stopped only in the early nineteenth century… In other areas of the globe where the gospel of Christ has not penetrated, the value of woman’s lives is cheap.  How ironic that feminists today do not give any credit to Christ or Christianity. Slavery:Half of the population of the Roman Empire was slaves. Three fourths of the population of Athens was slaves. The life of a slave could be taken at the whim of the master. Over the centuries, Christianity abolished slavery, first in the ancient world and then later in the nineteenth century, largely through the efforts of the strong evangelical William Wilberforce. It didn’t happen over night, and certainly there have been dedicated Christians who were slaveowners. Nonetheless, the end of slavery, which has plagued mankind for thousands of years, has come primarily through the efforts of Christians. “Once the gospel did spread, the seeds were sown for the eventual dissolution of slavery. Thus by reforming the heart, Christianity, in time, reformed the social order! “Robert E. Lee, who freed the slaves he had inherited by marriage, once wrote that the War between the States was needless bloodshed in terms of ending slavery, for he believed the evil institution would have eventually withered away because of Christianity.”  Compassion and Mercy:The world before Christianity was like the Russian tundra – quite cold and inhospitable. One scholar, Dr. Martineau, exhaustively searched through historical documents and concluded that antiquity has left no trace of any organized charitable effort. Disinterested benevolence was unknown. When Christ and the Bible became known, charity and benevolence flourished.  While poverty has always been a part of life on earth, the Church of Jesus Christ has done more – and often still does more – than any other institution in history to alleviate poverty. Furthermore, it has set the pattern for relief that is copied worldwide. All charity points back to Jesus Christ, whether people recognize it or not. Capitalism:“If Jesus had never been born, it is unlikely that capitalism and the free enterprise system – which has brought unparalleled prosperity to billions of people – would ever have developed. In this chapter, I will trace the links between the Christian faith and the prosperity enjoyed in the West, particularly in the United States.” Science:“Hasn’t religion always been the enemy of science? No! Furthermore, many scholars agree that the scientific revolution that gained great momentum in the seventeenth century was birthed for the most part by Reformed Christianity.”
 Here is a list of some of the outstanding bible-believing scientists who founded the following branches of science:Antiseptic surgery, Joseph ListerBacteriology, Louis PasteurCalculus, Isaac NewtonCelestial Mechanics, Johannes keplerChemistry, Robert BoyleComparative Anatomy, Georges CuvierComputer Science, Charles BabbageDimensional Analysis, Lord RayleighDynamics, Isaac NewtonElectronics, John flemingElectrodynamics, James MaxwellElectromagnetics, Michael FaradayEnergetics, Lord kelvinEntomology of Living Insects, Henri FabreFluid Mechanics, George StokesGas Dynamics, Robert BoyleGenetics, Gregor mendelGynecology, James SimpsonHydrostatics, Blaise PascalNatural History, John Ray.When Christian Morals are removed from society:
“During one of the darkest periods of World War II, after the collapse of France and before American involvement, Churchill wrote that the question in the minds of friends and foes was: ‘Will Britain surrender too?’ At that time he made a speech that contained this sentence: ‘I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization’ The great statesman recognized the link between Christianity and civility, in contrast with new-paganism and tyranny. Providentially, Christian civilization won. But where it has lost, all manner of terrors have been unleashed.”
“No century has been like ours in terms of man killing his fellow man. About 130 million . . . died because of atheistic ideology” – Hitler, Stalin and Mao of China. When a person denies the existence of God, you only have the material world. You’ve killed the spiritual world.
“The frightening thing about a humanist and atheistic state is that there is nothing beyond man to which one can make an appeal. The founders of this country said that men have been created equal and have been endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. We have an appeal beyond man, beyond the State, to God Himself, whereas in the humanist state there is nothing but man. The humanist state inevitably leads to tyranny and despotism. As Dostoevsky said, ‘If God is dead, then all things are permissible.’”
“With atheism there are no objective moral standards. This is not to say that all atheists are immoral people. In reality, there are many nice people who are atheists, but their niceness isborrowed capital from Christianity; it is not because of their atheism, but despite it.” If the atheist had been raised in an atheistic society, they would be very different people, while the Christian would be the same. The Christian who is unloving, is unloving despite of his professed Christianity, not because of it.
Historian Will Durant, who is a humanist, said in the February 1977 issue of the Humanist Magazine: There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.
Boston College professor William Kilpatrick has written a book on the subject of morality in public schools. In Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong (1992) he writes:  “Youngsters are forced to question values and virtues they’ve never acquired in the first place or upon which they have only a tenuous hold.”
“When you devalue God, you devalue human life. How could Hitler ruthlessly exterminate six million Jews and millions of other? How could the Communists kill and torture over a hundred million people? How could they do that to other human beings?”
“The answer you give to the question ‘What is a human being?’ will determine precisely what you can do to one.” “. . .when the restraining influence of Christianity is removed from a country or culture, unmitigated disaster will naturally follow.”
“One of our Supreme Court Justices, Oliver Wendell Holmes said: ‘I see no reason for attributing to man a significant difference in kind from that which belongs to a grain of sand.’”
“And yet we sometimes hear the statement that ‘more people have been killed in the name of Christ than in any other name.’” This is simply a lie.
Where do we go from here?Is secularism inevitable? From Harvard University to the YMCA, so many of the institutions we discussed in this book were started by Christians for Christian purposes, often at great sacrifice and expense; and then eventually they drifted away from their original [intent]. Is this trend unavoidable? “Religion begat prosperity, but the daughter hath consumed the mother.” Cotton Mather made this observation toward the end of the seventeenth century after the Christianity of the Pilgrims and Puritans had begun to wane. They had only been in the New World for three or four generations, and they were already beginning to allow the prosperity they enjoyed to crowd out the cause of that prosperity; Christianity. “Many of the good things we enjoy today grew out of the religion of Jesus Christ, but He is often denied the credit” The proof of this denial is in nearly every history book in public schools in America.
 Source:1. http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/farewell/sd106-21.pdf

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, cell ph 501-920-5733, P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, everettehatcher@gmail.com

XXXXXXXXX

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY 9 Unforgettable Quotes From Milton Friedman

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9 Unforgettable Quotes From Milton Friedman

Ben Duronio Jul. 31, 2012, 12:02 PM

milton friedman

Today would be Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman’s 100th birthday.

To celebrate what would have been a century of Milton Friedman, here are some of Friedman’s best quotes.

  • If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. – Think Exist
  • The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy. – Capitalism and Freedom
  • Governments never learn. Only people learn. – Think Exist
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch. – Book Title
  • I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstance and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible. –Interview With John Hawkins regarding Bush Tax Cuts
  • When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union — like public housing in the United states — look decrepit within a year or two of their construction. – Free to Choose: A Personal Statement.
  • One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results. –Interview With Richard Heffner
  • Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. – Good Reads
  • I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal. – Interview With Randy Paige

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Volume 1: Power of the Market Volume 2: The Tyranny of Control
Volume 3: Anatomy of a Crisis
Volume 4: From Cradle to Grave
Volume 5: Created Equal
Volume 6: What’s Wrong With Our Schools?
Volume 7: Who Protects the Consumer?
Volume 8: Who Protects the Worker?
Volume 9: How to Cure Inflation
Volume 10: How to Stay Free

Updated 1990 Series:
Volume 1: The Power of the Market
Volume 2: The Tyranny of Control
Volume 3: Freedom & Prosperity
Volume 4: The Failure of Socialism
Volume 5: Created Equal

_____________________

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 274 My February 2, 2016 (GROUNDHOG DAY) Letter to Hugh Hefner on Ecclesiastes Chapter 1 from message by Chris Lewis pastor of Foothill Church in Glendora, CA (Featured artist is Elliott Hundley )

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Image result for hugh hefner

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences. Greg Laurie noted:

WASTED YEARS: DOES THAT DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE?

Published: 11/17/2007

He was a young man who loved God – yet he became a hedonist extraordinaire, a playboy who made Hugh Hefner look like a lightweight. He was highly educated, yet went on unbelievable drinking binges. He was an architectural genius, masterminding the building of incredible structures, and yet chased after women like there was no tomorrow. And he was worth billions.

King Solomon lived thousands of years ago, yet the lessons and experiences of his life are as current as tomorrow’s newspaper. It was he who coined the phrase, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

Solomon became the king of Israel after his father David’s death. No one, not even David, had such incredible potential to be a great king. He had a godly heritage from his dad, was given wisdom on a scale that had never been known up to that point and wealth beyond anyone’s most fevered imagination. As a result, he had virtually unlimited power to do good.

Solomon started his reign beautifully. But the joy and beauty began to fade all too soon, as he turned away from the Lord who had so richly blessed him. By the time he came to the end of himself in his later years, he had thrown away a life with unbelievable potential. Here’s how he began his memoirs in the book of the Bible called Ecclesiastes:

These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem.

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “utterly meaningless!”

Solomon liked the word “meaningless,” using it again and again as he wrote about life. In the original language, the word meant emptiness, futility, a wisp of a vapor, a hollow, empty ring, nothingness, a bubble that bursts.

Ecclesiastes tells us that nothing on this earth will satisfy us completely. No thing, no pleasure, no relationship, no accomplishment will bring enduring value in life. It’s like riding one of those stationary bikes. You peddle and peddle but never really go anywhere. You get off in the very same place where you started.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon was looking back on a life lived without God. He was reflecting on man’s attempt to meet the deepest needs of human life, while leaving God out of the equation.

Initially, Solomon followed the Lord and his father’s good example. But as time passed, the young king forgot this commitment, allowing his heart to become at first divided, and then hardened. He began to love both the Lord and the world. According to Scripture, however, that will never wash. And in this rebellion against God, much like the prodigal son, Solomon broke away from his roots, his foundation, and decided to take a crash course in sin.

Did he ever! And he had the resources to do it! Unlimited sex, gallons of booze, non-stop partying, unrestrained materialism – not to mention the finest education, entertainment and art collecting. You name it, Solomon tried it. He actually did what most people only dream of. But in the end, it all turned into a nightmare.

And then, after many wasted years, Solomon finally came to his senses. He had learned the bitter lessons of life the hard way, but he really had no one to blame but himself. Among other things, he deeply regretted wasting his youth, warning others not to make the same mistake. He wrote: “Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living” (Ecclesiastes 12:1, NLT).

Solomon wraps up his book, saying, “Look, take it from a seasoned pro. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about here! If you leave God out of the picture – no matter what else you may have going – your life will be empty, meaningless and futile. Do you want to have a full life, a more abundant life? Do you truly want to live out your life as a whole woman, a whole man? Well, here’s your answer: Fear God and keep His commandments.”

Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard,Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee,  Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

My letter below is based primarily on a sermon by Chris Lewis (pictured below).

Image result for Chris Lewis pastor of Foothill Church

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

Image result for ravi zacharias ecclesiastes

February 2, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Today it is GROUNDHOG DAY and that is the reason I am going to quote extensively from Chris Lewis pastor of Foothill Church in Glendora, CA and  his sermon GROUNDHOG DAY. He got the title from the experience that Solomon pictures in the first 11 verses in Ecclesiastes. You will notice that the theme is CYCLE  and how this cycle repeats over and over again just like the cycle that Bill Murray is caught in as portrayed in the movie GROUNDHOG DAY where is character is caught repeating the same events over and over and over again.

“Ned, I would love to stand here and talk with you… but I’m not going to.”

“What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”

Bill Murray punching clock groundhog day alarm

“This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype.”

“Chance of departure today, one hundred percent.”

“Well, it’s Groundhog Day… again…”

“There is no way this winter is ever going to end, as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don’t see any other way out. He’s got to be stopped. And I have to stop him.”

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1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?

4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
    and hastens  to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
    and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
    but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
    there they flow again.
All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.

9 What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already
    in the ages before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things,
    nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
    among those who come after.

Notice this phrase UNDER THE SUN since it appears about 30 times in Ecclesiastes. Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Image result for francis schaeffer

As you know I have been writing you regularly for several months now and I have looking at statements you have made about your life and your philosophy. Many times I have compared them to the active searching that Solomon was doing in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES. Today I am going to do that same and it will be about your views on working and what can be gained from it.

Recently I read this in the article, Playboy at 60: Hugh Hefner Looks Back,” The legendary publisher looks back on the first 25 years of his culture-changing creation” By Scott Huver:

Looking back over his 87 years – 60 of which have been defined by his creation, Playboy – Hugh Hefner admits it took being a workaholic during his media empire’s formative years to transform him into an icon of sexual liberation and sophisticated indulgence.

“I had been really consumed the first few years on the magazine – I had this phenomenal success on my hands,” Hefner remembers. “And I didn’t want to miss the party that I had created.”

You did not want to miss out on the success of your magazine and you worked hard to see the rewards that would come from that. HUGH NOW LOOKING BACK WHAT LASTING PROFIT OR GAIN DID YOU GET FROM ALL YOUR HARD WORK? There are two ways to look at it. FIRST, what lasting meaning will there be from it UNDER THE SUN (a phrase Solomon uses over and over). SECOND, once you die what value will it have to you?

Image result for Chris Lewis pastor of Foothill Church

Chris Lewis pastor of Foothill Church in Glendora, CA in his sermon GROUNDHOG DAY about Ecclesiastes  noted:Because of the wisdom, wealth and power that God gave to Solomon, Solomon is probably the smartest, richest, most brilliant, powerful, good looking man that ever walked the face of the earth. He was like Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Hugh Hefner, Brad Pitt and George Clooney all rolled into one. It is incredible the gifts that God gave him.God is looking for people who don’t take their direction from the Bible and not the culture. Solomon does follow God early on but later he abandons his God….In the USA we spend 8.5 hours a day working and that is more than every other country except Japan. What are we working so hard for? What are we chasing?Mary Bell of Houston has counseled many high level executives. Achievement, Bell begins, is the alcohol of our time. These days, the best people don’t abuse alcohol. They abuse their lives. “You’re successful, so good things happen,” Bell says. “You complete a project, and you feel dynamite, so you move up to euphoria. That feeling doesn’t last forever, and you slide back to normal.But you love the feeling of euphoria, so you’ve got to have it again. The problem is, you can’t stay on that high. The highs don’t seem quite so high. You may win a deal that’s even bigger than the one that got away, but somehow that deal doesn’t take you to euphoria. .”An “achievement addict” is no different from any other kind of addict, Bell suggests.ECCLESIASTES chapter 1.

1 The words of the Preacher,[a] the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2  VANITY of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils UNDER THE SUN?The word “VANITY” means a vapor or breath. If it is a cold night you can go outside and you watch your breath and you see it for a moment and then it is gone. Solomon is saying that everything disappears. Time just flies by. LOOK AT HOW FAST YOUR KIDS GREW UP!!!!This also can be translated MEANINGLESS. It’s not just that life is brief but also that nothing has meaning. Your career is meaningless [UNDER THE SUN]. The clothes you have bought recently will someday be at Goodwill. Everything will end up in the junkyard.Verse 3 says, “What does man gain by all the toil  at which he toils UNDER THE SUN?”  In the end for all our hard work we gain NOTHING. What is the profit? Profit is what you have to show for all your hard work. Solomon says the answer UNDER THE SUN to that question is NOTHING.  UNDER THE SUN is a vital phrase. This is what Solomon means by UNDER THE SUN (used 29 times in Ecclesiastes) and that is life through the lense of a Godless world. It is seeing what can only be seen by natural eyes. It is a horizontal view that can not even look up and see that God has something to do with us.What gain or profit is left after I have lived in life UNDER THE SUN apart from God and Solomon says there is NOTHING and it is MEANINGLESS.Jesus in Matthew 16:26 asks a similar question:   “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”The answer to Jesus’ question is also NOTHING. So if you decide that this life is all there is and you just see this life UNDER THE SUN without reference to God then you end up with NOTHING. All your success is not irrelevant. All your toil is for NOTHING. All the years you put in at work you leave NOTHING to show for it.The wisest man who ever lived said life is FUTILE if you only look at life UNDER THE SUN. Solomon saw that people were crooked, bent and broken, but he couldn’t straighten them out…Solomon knew the problem. Everybody in the world knows something is wrong with the world. You do whether you are a Christian or not. Just go to a bookstore and look at the thousands of SELF HELP books that are selling in the millions. Jesus came to answer every frustration that Solomon had [in the Book of Ecclesiastes about life UNDER THE SUN]. When Adam and Eve sinned and they rebelled the earth became frustrated. Who will give us the answer to this? Christ said, “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here”(Matthew 12:42).Why is Jesus greater than Solomon? It is because Jesus is God.I Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”Philippians 1:21 (English Standard Version)  “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”(International Standard Version) “For to me, to go on living is the Messiah, and to die is gain.”Jesus came not to just inform us but to transform us. Jesus came not to only share our grief but to conquer our sin. So Jesus died in our place for our sin. He became our sin for us so we might become the righteousness of God. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creature, and one day we will hear Christ say, “I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5). 

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. In some of the past letters I have written you I have included such examples of historical evidence. Please take time and examine the evidence HUGH.

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 PS: This is the 16th letter I have written to you and I have tried in almost every letter to take your own words and then quote them back to you. Also since so many people have compared your life to the life of King Solomon in the Bible I have often used Solomon’s book Ecclesiastes because it is there where Solomon takes a long look back over his life UNDER THE SUN. Just like you Solomon was a workaholic and  I will return to this subject again in a future letter.

Groundhog Day – Ecclesiastes: The Meaning Of Life Part 1

Published on Oct 22, 2013

Sermon preached on Saturday, October 12th, 2013 by Pastor Chris Lewis at Foothill Church in Glendora, CA. Sermon text is Ecclesiastes 1.1-11. For more information please visit http://www.foothillchurch.net.

Featured Artist is Elliott Hundley

Elliott Hundley: Evoking Emotions | Art21 “Exclusive”

Elliott Hundley

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

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

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

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Open Letter to Woody Allen on the movie Irrational Man Part 6

Woody Allen On Bergman

Woody Allen On Bergman

Woody Allen Show

Essay on Woody Allen films

(May 15, 1984)

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Harold J. Blackham (1903-2009)

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)

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

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS was written and directed by Woody Allen

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

Anjelica Huston

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May 15, 2016

Letty Aronson, c/o New York, New York 10001

Dear Mrs. Aronson,

In the movie IRRATIONAL MAN,  Joaquin Phoenix‘s character Abe Lucas references Simone de Beauvoir,  Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, and Immanuel Kant. I read about all of these writers or philosophers for the first time when I read the works of Francis Schaeffer. 

Thirty two years ago today my philosophical hero Francis Schaeffer died. It was on May 15, 1994 (the 10th anniversary of that date) that I made a concerted effort to write hundreds of secular scholars that he had mentioned in his books and films that he produced since the 1960’s. Not only did Schaeffer mention Woody in several of his books but about a year ago  a video was posted on You Tube that showed that Schaeffer mentioned Woody in his last public speech. If you go to You Tube and type in FRANCIS SCHAEFFER KNOXVILLE then you can watch this special Q&A time with Francis and Edith Schaeffer at the 1984 L’Abri conference in Knoxville, filmed two months before Dr. Schaeffer’s passing (May 15, 1984). There is one portion of this question and answer time that I have put in a letter in December of 2015 and sent to about 100 prominent atheistic scholars who consider themselves OPTIMISTIC HUMANISTS and I challenge them to watch the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS and that portion is below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Many of these humanists are familiar  with Woody’s films and I hope some at least are willing to take on my challenge. In fact, I have been writing letters with this message for over 20 years now, and one of the first humanist scholars had the opportunity to correspond with was the famous atheist Antony Flew. Since then I have more articles posted on my blog about the last few years of Antony Flew’s life than any other website in the world probably. The reason is very simple. I had the opportunity to correspond with Antony Flew back in the middle 90’s and he said that he had the opportunity to listen to several of the cassette tapes that I sent him with messages from Adrian Rogers and he also responded to several of the points I put in my letters that I got from Francis Schaeffer’s materials. The ironic thing was that I purchased the sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? originally from the Bellevue Baptist Church Bookstore in 1992 and in the same bookstore in 2008 I bought the book THERE IS A GOD by Antony Flew. Back in 1993 I decided to contact some of the top secular thinkers of our time and I got my initial list of individuals from those scholars that were mentioned in the works of both Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. Schaeffer had quoted Flew in his book ESCAPE FROM REASON. It was my opinion after reviewing the evidence that Antony Flew was the most influential atheistic philosopher of the 20th century.

Woody in his famous satirical article SPEECH TO THE GRADUATES wrote, “My good friend Jacques Monod spoke often of the randomness of the cosmos. He believed everything in existence occurred by pure chance with the possible exception of his breakfast, which he felt certain was made by his housekeeper.” Wouldn’t it be more logical to believe that we were put here for a purpose and that universe was fine tuned for us? 

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

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

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

The question now becomes do you want to know if there is a God or not? Are you willing to examine the same evidence that I provided to the world’s leading atheistic philosopher in 1994 (Antony Flew) and take time to listen to this short CD I have enclosed?

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop in their book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Chapter 5 concerning the accuracy of the Bible:

Ahab’s line did not last long and was brutally overthrown by a man called Jehu. As one walks toward the Assyrian section in the British Museum, one of the first exhibits to be seen is the famous Black Obelisk. This stands about six feet high and was discovered at Nimrud (Calah) near the Assyrian capital at Nineveh. It describes how King Shalmeneser III compelled Jehu to submit to his authority and to pay him tribute. Here one can see a representation of the kneeling figure of either Jehu or his envoy before the Assyrian king. The inscription tells of Jehu’s submission: “The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king and purukhti fruits.”

Jehu is referred to by the Assyrian records as a son of Omri, not because he was literally his son, but because he was on the throne which had been occupied previously by the house of Omri. This event took place about 841 B.C.

Putting them all together, these archaeological records show not only the existence historically of the people and events recorded in the Bible but the great accuracy of the details involved.

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

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

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

Match point Trailer

Match point

Crimes and misdemeanors

Part 2

Part 3

Woody commenting on Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris trailer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In the last post I pointed out how King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and that Bertrand Russell, and T.S. Eliot and  other modern writers had agreed with Solomon’s view. However, T.S. Eliot had found a solution to this problem and put his faith in […]

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