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

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

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Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

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

Paul Rabinow

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

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

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

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

Biographical details[edit]

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

Overview[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Quote from Paul Rabinow:

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

More lengthy quote from Paul Rabinow:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DOES GOD BELIEVE IN ATHEISTS?

 

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

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

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

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

“That’s right,” said the man.

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

“Of course.”

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

“Yes.”

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

“Okay, but I don’t think He exists.”

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

“Yes, and I’m a big one.”

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

“What kinds are there?”

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

“I want to know the truth.”

“Would you like to prove that God exists?”

“It can’t be done.”

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

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

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

                 

— Jamie Lash  

A Brief Sample of Old Testament Archaeological Corroboration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Related Posts In This Series:

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

 

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

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On March 17, 2013 at our worship service at Fellowship Bible Church, Ben Parkinson who is one of our teaching pastors spoke on Genesis 1. He spoke about an issue that I was very interested in. Ben started the sermon by reading the following scripture: Genesis 1-2:3 English Standard Version (ESV) The Creation of the […]

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

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

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

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

Carl Sagan versus RC Sproul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My correspondence with George Wald and Antony Flew!!!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 15 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part A (Feature on artist Robert Indiana plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 14 David Friedrich Strauss (Feature on artist Roni Horn )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 13 Jacob Bronowski and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ellen Gallagher )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 12 H.J.Blackham and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Arturo Herrera)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 11 Thomas Aquinas and his Effect on Art and HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 2: THE MIDDLES AGES (Feature on artist Tony Oursler )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 9 Jasper Johns (Feature on artist Cai Guo-Qiang )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 8 “The Last Year at Marienbad” by Alain Resnais (Feature on artist Richard Tuttle and his return to the faith of his youth)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 7 Jean Paul Sartre (Feature on artist David Hooker )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 6 The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan Van Eyck which was saved by MONUMENT MEN IN WW2 (Feature on artist Makoto Fujimura)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 5 John Cage (Feature on artist Gerhard Richter)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 3 PAUL GAUGUIN’S 3 QUESTIONS: “Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going? and his conclusion was a suicide attempt” (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part A)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 2 “A look at how modern art was born by discussing Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas,Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Picasso” (Feature on artist Peter Howson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 1 HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? “The Roman Age” (Feature on artist Tracey Emin)

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

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Harry Kroto pictured below:

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

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Bede Rundle Why is There Something Rather than Nothing

 

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Image result for Bede Rundle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He is survived by his wife and children.

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

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

 

 

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

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Quote:

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

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

 

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

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

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Archaeology and the Old Testament

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

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

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

HEZEKIAH AND SENNACHERIB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lachish Under Siege

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem Stands Strong

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

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

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

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

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

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BULLAE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE MOABITE STONE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cyrus Cylinder

THE CYRUS CYLINDER

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

REFERENCES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(This material below is under footnote #94)

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

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

2 Kings 18:13-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 15 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part A (Feature on artist Robert Indiana plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 14 David Friedrich Strauss (Feature on artist Roni Horn )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 13 Jacob Bronowski and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ellen Gallagher )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 12 H.J.Blackham and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Arturo Herrera)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 11 Thomas Aquinas and his Effect on Art and HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 2: THE MIDDLES AGES (Feature on artist Tony Oursler )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 9 Jasper Johns (Feature on artist Cai Guo-Qiang )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 8 “The Last Year at Marienbad” by Alain Resnais (Feature on artist Richard Tuttle and his return to the faith of his youth)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 7 Jean Paul Sartre (Feature on artist David Hooker )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 6 The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan Van Eyck which was saved by MONUMENT MEN IN WW2 (Feature on artist Makoto Fujimura)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 5 John Cage (Feature on artist Gerhard Richter)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 3 PAUL GAUGUIN’S 3 QUESTIONS: “Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going? and his conclusion was a suicide attempt” (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part A)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 2 “A look at how modern art was born by discussing Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas,Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Picasso” (Feature on artist Peter Howson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 1 HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? “The Roman Age” (Feature on artist Tracey Emin)

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_

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 139 Gabriel Horn neuroscientist, Cambridge, “Although well knowing that I may die, I never thought I had to get myself converted…”

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

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

Arif AhmedHaroon Ahmed,  Jim Al-Khalili, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BateSir Patrick BatesonSimon Blackburn, Colin Blakemore, Ned BlockPascal BoyerPatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky, Brian CoxPartha Dasgupta,  Alan Dershowitz, Frank DrakeHubert Dreyfus, John DunnBart Ehrman, Mark ElvinRichard Ernst, Stephan Feuchtwang, Robert FoleyDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Stephen HawkingHermann Hauser, Robert HindeRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodGerard ‘t HooftCaroline HumphreyNicholas Humphrey,  Herbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart KauffmanMasatoshi Koshiba,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George Lakoff,  Rodolfo LlinasElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlaneDan McKenzie,  Mahzarin BanajiPeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  P.Z.Myers,   Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff, David Parkin,  Jonathan Parry, Roger Penrose,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceVS RamachandranLisa RandallLord Martin ReesColin RenfrewAlison Richard,  C.J. van Rijsbergen,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerJohn SulstonBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisMax TegmarkNeil deGrasse Tyson,  Martinus J. G. Veltman, Craig Venter.Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John Walker, James D. WatsonFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

 

Gabriel Horn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gabriel Horn
Born 9 December 1927
Died 2 August 2012 (aged 84)[1]
Cambridge
Nationality United Kingdom
Fields Neuroscience
Institutions University of Bristol
University of Cambridge
Notable awards Royal Medal (2001)

Sir Gabriel Horn, MD, ScD, FRS,[2] FRCP (9 December 1927 – 2 August 2012) was a British neuroscientist and Professor in Natural Sciences (Zoology) at the University of Cambridge.[3] His research was into the neural mechanisms of learning and memory.

Early life[edit]

Horn was born on 9 December 1927. He attended Handsworth Technical School in Handsworth, Birmingham.[4] He left the school at 16 to work in his parents’ shop and studied part-time for a National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, achieving distinction. He served in the Royal Air Force before studying for a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Birmingham.[5]

Academic career[edit]

Horn’s first academic position was in 1956 at the Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge as a Demonstrator in Anatomy. He became a Lecturer and then a Reader, before leaving to become Professor of Anatomy at the University of Bristol in 1974.[5] In 1975, while at Bristol, he obtained his DSc degree.[5] In 1977, he returned to Cambridge to head the Department of Zoology. He retired in 1995 and was made Emeritus Professor. He was Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge from 1992 to 1999 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university from 1994 to 1997.[4][5] He remained a fellow of Sidney Sussex College after 1999 until his death; he had earlier been a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and was elected a life fellow there in 1999.[4]

Honours[edit]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1986,[2] receiving their Royal Medal in 2001.[5] He was given an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Birmingham in 1999 and by the University of Bristol in 2003.[5] He was knighted in the 2002 New Year Honours “for services to Neurobiology and to the Advancement of Scientific Research”.[6]

Succeeded by
Sandra Dawson

In  the third video below in the 121st 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)

 

 

Interview of biologist and zoologist Sir Gabriel Horn – part 1

 

 Interview of the biologist and zoologist Sir Gabriel Horn – part two

 Interview of Sir Gabriel Horn – part three

Uploaded on Jun 3, 2010

An interview of Sir Gabriel Horn by Sir Patrick Bateson on 16 January 2007, filmed by Alan Macfarlane.
For a higher quality, downloadable, version with summary, please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com

Quote by Dr. Horn:

Yes, I did nearly die. On one occasion I was lucky to be alive after a  massive hemorrhage.  I can say one thing. I never took to religion. I was really true to myself. Although well knowing that I may die, I  never thought I had to get myself converted to Judaism properly. It actually never crossed my mind. I always thought that if on my deathbed I do something funny like that those there will understand it doesn’t mean anything at all.

 Interview of the biologist and zoologist Sir Gabriel Horn – part four

  My Response to Dr. Horn’s statement would have been this simple question:

Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?

What I mean by that is  if God exists then would it be plausible that God would want to communicate  to us about his existence? There are those who actually believe that God has done that in the Bible. Dr. J. Gresham Machen said that he believed the Bible to be accurate in even the smallest details. The critic H.L.Mencken rightly noted, “Well, if you really want to be a Christian there is only one kind of Christian to be and that is the Machen kind.”

When Dr. Horn made his statement he acted as if he made a  deathbed conversion then his words  would meaning nothing.  I would admit that many people do say things  that they don’t mean but when  you are  on  your deathbed that would be a perfect time to  be totally honest. I salute those who are honest for their honesty, but it should be after they examine the evidence fully concerning God’s existence and that would include the historical accuracy of the Bible. I corresponded with Carl Sagan during the final year of his life and I was sad that he died as an agnostic. That was his choice. I  was appreciative that he took time to write me back and discuss these importance spiritual issues with me. Ironically,  I corresponded with Antony Flew several times, but when he died it seemed as although many secular people were very made at  the things he said in his final book There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (2007) with Roy Abraham Varghese. 

Two of my biggest spiritual heroes were men who stood up the accuracy of the Bible.

____________

 

Francis Schaeffer

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

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

____

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

______________________________________

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

H. L. Mencken
H l mencken.jpg

J. Gresham Machen

J. Gresham Machen

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

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

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

H.G. Wells

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

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

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

Francis Schaeffer & the SBC

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

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

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

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

But to Schaeffer it made perfect sense.

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

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

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

(Paige Patterson)

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

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

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

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

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

(ADRIAN ROGERS, chairman of the committee that drafted changes to the Baptist Faith & Message, joins Al Mohler, Chuck Kelley and Richard Land in a news conference shortly after the new statement of faith was adopted by messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando, Fla)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

________________

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Faith, Seeing & Believing

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

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

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

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

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

“No,” they answered.

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

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

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

__________

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Appears to Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?

Tim Brister —  July 26, 2006 — 6 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

_____________

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

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MUSIC MONDAY George Harrison – Art Of Dying

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George Harrison – Art Of Dying – Lyrics

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

George Harrison is the only member of the Beatles who stuck with Hinduism while the other three abandoned it shortly after their one trip to India.  Francis Schaeffer noted, ” The younger people and the older ones tried drug taking but then turned to the eastern religions. Both drugs and the eastern religions seek truth inside one’s own head, a negation of reason. The central reason of the popularity of eastern religions in the west is a hope for a nonrational meaning to life and values. The reason the young people turn to eastern religion is simply the fact as we have said and that is that man having moved into the area of nonreason could put anything up there and the heart of the eastern religions  is a denial of reason just exactly as the idealistic drug taking was.”

In the article below from Wikipedia it is noted:

For the last 30 or more years of his life, George Harrison repeatedly identified his first experience of taking the hallucinogenic drug LSD, with John Lennon and their wives, as being responsible for his interest in spirituality and Hinduism.[2][3][4][5] The “trip” occurred by accident in February 1965,[6][7][8] and he later recalled a thought coming to his mind during the experience: “‘Yogis of the Himalayas.’ I don’t know why … It was like somebody was whispering to me: ‘Yogis of the Himalayas.'”[5]

Image result for george harrison lsd

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George Harrison – Art of Dying

george harrison – art of dying ( take 9 )

Art of Dying (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Art of Dying”
George Harrison "Art of Dying" sheet music.jpg

Cover of the original Hansen Publishing sheet music for the song
Song by George Harrison from the album All Things Must Pass
Published Harrisongs
Released 27 November 1970
Genre Rock, hard rock
Length 3:37
Label Apple
Writer(s) George Harrison
Producer(s) George Harrison, Phil Spector
All Things Must Pass track listing

Art of Dying” is a song by English musician George Harrison, released on his 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass. It was written in 1966–67 when Harrison first became immersed in Hindu spirituality, and its subject matter is reincarnation – the “art” in question being the need to avoid rebirth, by limiting actions and thoughts whose consequences lead to one’s soul returning in another, earthbound life form. The song was co-produced by Phil Spector and features a hard-charging rock arrangement that has been described as “proto-disco“.[1] The backing musicians include Eric Clapton and the rest of the latter’s short-lived band Derek and the Dominos, as well as Gary Wright, Billy Preston and a teenage Phil Collins.

Since Harrison’s death in November 2001, the lyrics of “Art of Dying” have been much quoted as a comment on the nature of human existence.

Background and composition[edit]

For the last 30 or more years of his life, George Harrison repeatedly identified his first experience of taking the hallucinogenic drug LSD, with John Lennon and their wives, as being responsible for his interest in spirituality and Hinduism.[2][3][4][5] The “trip” occurred by accident in February 1965,[6][7][8] and he later recalled a thought coming to his mind during the experience: “‘Yogis of the Himalayas.’ I don’t know why … It was like somebody was whispering to me: ‘Yogis of the Himalayas.'”[5] A visit in August 1967 to the epicentre of hippie conterculturalism, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, then persuaded him to abandon LSD and pursue a spiritual path through meditation.[9][10] By that point, Harrison had already immersed himself in Indian music, which is irrevocably tied to spirituality,[11][12] and dealt with what author Ian MacDonald terms “the spiritual aridity of modern life”[13] in his song “Within You Without You” (on the BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band).[14][15] He had also begun writing a song dedicated to the Hindu concept of reincarnation and the inevitability of death, “Art of Dying”.[16]

There’ll come a time when all of us must leave here
There’s nothing Sister Mary can do, will keep me here with you
As nothing in this life that I’ve been trying
Can equal or surpass the Art of Dying.

The mention of “Sister Mary” refers to the Catholic faith in which Harrison had been brought up as a child.[17] Speaking to author Peter Doggett, Harrison’s sister Louise qualified his embracing of Hinduism with regard to his upbringing: “Our family were Catholics, but we always had a global outlook. We were spiritual, not religious as such. George didn’t change as a person after he went to India [in 1966] …”[18]

Rather than Sister Mary, Harrison’s original lyric named “Mr Epstein” – the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein.[19][20] Given this reference to Epstein, author Bruce Spizer has speculated that Harrison was “contemplating life after the Beatles” as early as mid 1966, since “most of the song’s original verses recognise that even Mr. Epstein won’t be able to keep the group together or help out when it’s over …”[21]

As Harrison explains in his autobiography, I, Me, Mine, in most cases one’s soul does not in fact “leave here” after death, due to the karmic debt, or “load”, accrued through actions and thoughts carried out in one’s lifetime.[22] This point is illustrated in the third verse of “Art of Dying”:[23]

There’ll come a time when most of us return here
Brought back by our desire to be a perfect entity
Living through a million years of crying
Until you realize the Art of Dying.

The mention of “a million years of crying” is a reference to the endless cycle of rebirth associated with reincarnation, where the soul repeatedly fails to leave the material world and attain nirvana,[24] otherwise known as moksha.[25]

Written in a period shortly before “karma”, “mantra“, “guru” and “māyā” all became key words in his vocabulary,[26] Harrison shows an acknowledgment of possible confusion on the part of his listeners, and a degree of humour,[16] with the pointed questions that appear at the end of the verses, “Are you still with me?” and “Do you believe me?[23] The subject of rebirth was one he would return to frequently throughout his solo career,[27] notably on “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)“, with its pleas “Keep me free from birth” and “Help me cope with this heavy load“.[28][29]

Recording[edit]

On 26 May 1970, a month after the Beatles’ break-up, “Art of Dying” was one of many songs performed by Harrison for Phil Spector‘s benefit at Abbey Road Studios,[30] with a view to narrowing down the material under consideration for All Things Must Pass.[31]Harrison strummed the song on acoustic guitar, but as with “Isn’t It a Pity“, “Run of the Mill“, “Let It Down” and other selections, its arrangement would be transformed significantly as the album sessions progressed;[21] in this instance, Spector’s production on the official release provided a “[big] ‘kitchen sink’ job”, as authors Chip Madinger and Mark Easter put it.[20] A widely bootlegged version known as “Art of Dying (take 9)”, comprising a band performance dominated by acoustic rhythm guitars and piano, with Ringo Starr on drums, sees the song somewhere midway between the solo run-through and the All Things Must Pass arrangement.[20] This take 9, played in the key of B minor, a semitone up from that of the official version of the song, was still in contention for release during the album’s mixing phase.[20]

In a chapter discussing All Things Must Pass in his 2010 autobiography, American musician Bobby Whitlock writes of recording the song: “It was awesome when we were doing ‘The Art of Dying,’ Eric [Clapton] on that wah-wah and it was all cooking, Derek and the Dominos with George Harrison.”[32] The sessions led to the formation of Derek and the Dominos,[33][34] whose four members – Clapton, Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon – all played on the track.[35]

Kicked off by what author Elliot Huntley terms Clapton’s “firecracking” lead guitar,[27] and propelled by Gordon’s drumming and Radle’s urgent bass, the released version of “Art of Dying” is in the hard rock style.[16] Jim Price‘s horn arrangement provided a countermelody behind the various A minor voicings in the song’s instrumental passages[36] through to its “galloping” ending.[21] Testifying to the ferocity of the performance, Phil Collins later recalled that his hands were so badly blistered during the run-throughs of the song, he was unable to play his congas with any force once they came to actually record it, hence the apparent absence of congas in the final mix.[37] Another percussion part – maracas – does feature prominently, and may have been played by Mal Evans, Starr, members of Badfinger or Maurice Gibb, all of whom attended the session also, according to Collins.[37]

Release and reception[edit]

Apple Records released All Things Must Pass in November 1970,[38] with “Art of Dying” sequenced as the second track on side four, in the triple album’s original, LP format.[39] While describing the acclaim afforded the album on release, author Robert Rodriguez includes the song as an illustration of how Harrison’s talent had been “hidden in plain sight” behind Lennon and Paul McCartney during the Beatles’ career.[40] Rodriguez writes: “That the Quiet Beatle was capable of such range – from the joyful “What Is Life” to the meditative “Isn’t It a Pity” to the steamrolling “Art of Dying” to the playful “I Dig Love” – was revelatory.”[40]

In his review for Rolling Stone magazine, Ben Gerson similarly wrote of the wide range of styles found on All Things Must Pass and recognised “Art of Dying” as “a song of reincarnation” with a melody supposedly “borrowed” from the Rolling Stones‘ “Paint It, Black“.[41] Village Voice contributor Nicholas Schaffner and others have described it as an “essay” on the subject of reincarnation.[16][42] Writing in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, Andrew Gilbert highlights “Art of Dying” as an example of the “finely crafted, spiritually charged songs” that ensure that All Things Must Pass “only sounds better with time”.[43] While reviewing the 30th anniversary edition of the album, James Hunter enthused in Rolling Stone: “Imagine a rock orchestra recorded with sensitivity and teeth and faraway mikes: bluesy and intricate on Harrison and Dylan‘s ‘I’d Have You Anytime,’ fizzy on ‘Apple Scruffs,’ grooving on ‘Let It Down,’ and spookily proto-disco on ‘Art of Dying.'”[1]

Among Harrison’s biographers, Elliot Huntley describes the song as “certainly the most dramatic” track on the album and “one of the most scintillating rock songs in the Harrison canon”.[27] Ian Inglis writes that “Art of Dying” displays “all the features” of Harrison’s “post-Beatles confidence” and notes the Middle Eastern “musical antecedents” despite the obvious Hindu concepts within the lyrics.[44] In his book While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Simon Leng views “Art of Dying” as picking up “where ‘Tomorrow Never Knows‘ and ‘Within You Without You’ paused”, and adds: “If ever a song challenged the one-eyed nature of the rock world, this is it. Nothing could be further from superficial pop culture.”[16]

Other versions[edit]

Harrison never performed “Art of Dying” live,[45] although he included it on his proposed setlist for the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971.[46] It was rehearsed for the two shows at Madison Square Garden, judging by Jim Horn‘s horn chart for the song, reproduced at the end of I, Me, Mine.[47] The acoustic demo of “Art of Dying” from May 1970 has been available unofficially since the 1990s, on bootlegs such as Beware of ABKCO![48][49]

Jazz guitarist Joel Harrison covered “Art of Dying” for his album Harrison on Harrison: Jazz Explanations of George Harrison,[50] released in October 2005.[51] Three years later, Suburban Skies recorded the song for their Harrison tribute album George.[52]

Personnel[edit]

The musicians who played on “Art of Dying” are believed to be as follows:[36]

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Madinger and Easter write that the various in-progress mixes of “Art of Dying” reveal the presence of tubular bells on the recording but make no mention of a piano part,[20] for which Leng credits Whitlock as playing.[36] In his autobiography, Whitlock states that his contribution was the tubular bells, which he played with a leather hammer.[53]

Sources[edit]

  • Dale C. Allison Jr., The Love There That’s Sleeping: The Art and Spirituality of George Harrison, Continuum (New York, NY, 2006; ISBN 978-0-8264-1917-0).
  • Keith Badman, The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970–2001, Omnibus Press (London, 2001; ISBN 0-7119-8307-0).
  • The Beatles, Anthology, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA, 2000; ISBN 0-8118-2684-8).
  • Harry Castleman & Walter J. Podrazik, All Together Now: The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961–1975, Ballantine Books (New York, NY, 1976; ISBN 0-345-25680-8).
  • Alan Clayson, George Harrison, Sanctuary (London, 2003; ISBN 1-86074-489-3).
  • Peter Doggett, You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup, It Books (New York, NY, 2011; ISBN 978-0-06-177418-8).
  • The Editors of Rolling Stone, Harrison, Rolling Stone Press/Simon & Schuster (New York, NY, 2002; ISBN 0-7432-3581-9).
  • George Harrison, I Me Mine, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA, 2002; ISBN 0-8118-3793-9).
  • Olivia Harrison, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Abrams (New York, NY, 2011; ISBN 978-1-4197-0220-4).
  • Elliot J. Huntley, Mystical One: George Harrison – After the Break-up of the Beatles, Guernica Editions (Toronto, ON, 2006; ISBN 1-55071-197-0).
  • Ian Inglis, The Words and Music of George Harrison, Praeger (Santa Barbara, CA, 2010; ISBN 978-0-313-37532-3).
  • Simon Leng, While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison, Hal Leonard (Milwaukee, WI, 2006; ISBN 1-4234-0609-5).
  • Cynthia Lennon, John, Hodder & Stoughton (London, 2006; ISBN 0-340-89512-8).
  • Ian MacDonald, Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties, Pimlico (London, 1998; ISBN 0-7126-6697-4).
  • Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium, 44.1 Productions (Chesterfield, MO, 2000; ISBN 0-615-11724-4).
  • Chris O’Dell (with Katherine Ketcham), Miss O’Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved, Touchstone (New York, NY, 2009; ISBN 978-1-4165-9093-4).
  • Robert Rodriguez, Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles’ Solo Years, 1970–1980, Backbeat Books (Milwaukee, WI, 2010; ISBN 978-1-4165-9093-4).
  • Nicholas Schaffner, The Beatles Forever, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY, 1978; ISBN 0-07-055087-5).
  • Bruce Spizer, The Beatles Solo on Apple Records, 498 Productions (New Orleans, LA, 2005; ISBN 0-9662649-5-9).
  • Gary Tillery, Working Class Mystic: A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison, Quest Books (Wheaton, IL, 2011; ISBN 978-0-8356-0900-5).
  • Bobby Whitlock (with Marc Roberty), Bobby Whitlock: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Autobiography, McFarland (Jefferson, NC, 2010; ISBN 978-0-7864-6190-5).

External links[edit]

With God On Their SideHigher Powers Guide A New Generation

If there has been a predominant figure in pop culture so far this year, it might just be Jesus Christ. The most obvious example is The Passion Of The Christ, but while the film has been a focal point of debate over religion’s current influence in mainstream Western society, Mel Gibson is only the most familiar of many other artists whose individual visions are making a new generation aware of Christianity, in all its mystery and inherent complexity. This year, God TV has had its hits (Joan of Arcadia) and misses (Wonderfalls); Madonna is devoting time on her current tour to preaching about Kabbalah; and recent Johnny Cash reissues are acknowledging the Man In Black’s devotion to the gospels. The Polyphonic Spree conduct hippie-tinged sermons like a pot-addled Mormon Tabernacle Choir, while the Hidden Cameras’ gay folk music invites new devotees to sing along, part of an increasingly important generation of believers – like Robert Randolf, Danielson and Royal City – who are pushing faith to the fore.

For most fans, the separation of Church and Rock is just as, let’s say, sacred as the separation of Church and State. After all, what was originally conceived as “the Devil’s music” should remain so, right? But rock’n’roll has never shied away from the spiritual realm, dating back to when Elvis Presley calmed fears of his evil powers with a solemn rendition of “Peace In The Valley,” accompanied by the Blackwood Brothers gospel quartet as part of his first Ed Sullivan Show appearance.

Today, matters of faith are increasingly prevalent, not only in Christian-based music’s own self-sufficient industry, but in the voices of young artists who are drawing upon the gospel tradition, for both musical inspiration and personal enlightenment.

The Gospel Impulse
Perhaps the biggest question raised by the overwhelming response to The Passion is, why now? America in particular has long been a predominantly evangelical Christian nation – latest surveys show that 43 percent of its citizens consider themselves “born again” – to the point where the Republican Party, with its “born again” president George W. Bush, has concluded that it need only appeal to this demographic in order to remain in power.

One thing that is certain, the use of religious imagery today in popular music has grown much more complicated in comparison to its earliest appearances in song. As Craig Werner writes in his thorough study, A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & The Soul Of America, “Without question the spiritual explorations of the younger generation shocked some of their elders. But many appreciated the impulse behind the explorations; and almost everyone understood that almost any spiritual vision was preferable to the nihilism that threatened to destroy so many communities.”

Werner’s list of crucial gospel-informed hits includes Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” and many others that have undeniably had an impact far beyond other songs of their respective eras. The suggestion Werner makes is that artists who successfully utilise the “gospel impulse,” do so out of a desire to build community, rather than out of pure self-expression.

He writes, “At its best, the gospel impulse helps people experience themselves in relation to rather than on their own. Gospel makes the feeling of human separateness, which is what the blues are all about, bearable. It’s why DJs and the dancers they shape into momentary communities are telling the truth when they describe dance as a religious experience.”

Rock Of Ages
The notion of using music as a vehicle to connect with a larger community, or higher power, directly reflects the fact that most early stars of blues, country and rock’n’roll came from small, rural areas where the church was a social pillar. For many, it was simply a natural progression to interpret music learned in church in their own personal ways.

As one of his final wishes, Johnny Cash recorded My Mother’s Hymn Book, a collection of songs he had known since his childhood. There could be no better final statement from a man who balanced sin and salvation, and who was unparalleled at communicating the realities of each. While it is easy to sentimentalise Cash’s gospel work as an outgrowth of his personal struggles over the years, the fact is that at when he first sang of shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die, he was also asking, ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ In fact, Cash intended his first album for Columbia Records, following his move from Sun, to be a gospel album, something the label wouldn’t approve until there were a few hits under his belt.

As Sylvie Simmons writes in the liner note to Hymn Book, “If [Cash’s mother] Carrie had not taught him these hymn book songs, encouraged him to sing them and told him that his talent was a ‘gift from God’ and he should not toss it away, he would likely not be here today.”

While Cash never made what might have been a natural transition into a full-fledged preacher, history suggests that most artists who come from a strong religious upbringing invariably introduce those beliefs into their music.

Al Green is a prime example. Originally a deep soul belter, Green undertook a personal battle between the sacred and profane in the early ’70s, just as his popularity was amplifying the isolation he had always felt, and subsequently eased with drugs and sex. It was in a hotel room at Disneyland in 1973 that Green found the Lord. “I had producers, promoters, record companies, booking agents, all these people saying, ‘Al is doing what? Religion? Eighteen million dollars invested in this boy and he’s got religion? We’ve got a career going here, we need to sell some records,” he recently told Mojo’s Andrea Lisle. “Everyone around me was saying, ‘We don’t need God right now – tell him to come back later.’ But I had to reconcile what was going on with me, because this was the only thing that was gonna save me.”

Unlike Little Richard’s flirtation with the ministry in the late ’50s, which essentially stalled his career at its height, Green wholly embraced his calling, and deftly incorporated religion into such landmark recordings as 1977’s The Belle Album. At the same time, Green preached every Sunday at his own church in Memphis, still today a guaranteed cure for Saturday night excesses. Yet, after establishing himself as undoubtedly the most popular gospel artist in America, Reverend Al’s excellent new album, I Can’t Stop, returns to the sultry themes and grooves that first brought him fame. For Green, the gap between physical love and spiritual love was bridged long ago. “Even the Pope is a human being,” he says. “And that is what this album is about. When people come home from the church house and start dealing with the children, their job, the mortgage and the insurance, they’re gonna deal with this album. It’s about life.”

From The Altar To The Stage
While mainstream rock fans have often turned to Green’s work for an accessible gospel fix, more recently they have been introduced to the music through several unlikely sources. One of these is the sacred steel movement, first “discovered” by blues enthusiast Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records in the early 1990s. Until then, sacred steel was an obscure fixture of black Baptist church services, mostly in Florida, where the choir was accompanied not by an organ, but by pedal steel guitarists. As unlikely as that seems, players like Sonny Treadway, Aubrey Ghent, and the Campbell Brothers, managed to create both joyful and heart-wrenching sounds that perfectly complemented the hymns. With its popularity grown following such acclaimed releases as None But The Righteous and The Word (featuring John Medeski of Medeski, Martin & Wood), sacred steel had its first mainstream crossover success last year with Robert Randolph, the young phenom whose urban chic has brought him those all-important young white followers.

Randolph, who grew up near Newark, New Jersey, admits that staying close to his churchgoing relatives saved him from a life of drugs and crime, and ultimately got him playing steel guitar. A family connection to sacred steel legend Ted Beard firmly set him on his path at the age of 17. “I said to Ted, ‘I want to play like you,’ but he taught me that you can never be like someone else, and if you keep that in mind and stay humble, then nobody will be able to do what you’re doing. A couple of months after that, I was back home playing steel guitar at our church services.” Since then, Randolph’s major label debut, Unclassified, and his band’s incendiary live shows have drawn comparisons to guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But at its core, Randolph’s music is pure gospel, and judging by his statements, will remain so.

Although Randolph and others have helped to modernise the established tenets of gospel music, the enduring appeal of what have come to be known among collectors as “true vine” recordings from the 1920s and ’30s is undiminished. Proof is in the brisk sales of last year’s six-disc set Goodbye Babylon, a labour of love for Atlanta music archivist Lance Ledbetter, who released it on his own Dust-To-Digital label. Although a substantial purchase for even the most ardent fan – the set comes with the requisite book in a wood box lined with freshly picked cotton – it rivals Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music in both quality and historical significance.

Ledbetter says his motivation was simply to fill a void in documenting important early gospel artists like Thomas A. Dorsey and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. In doing so, he ingeniously placed them alongside little-known gospel sides from their better-known peers like Blind Lemon Jefferson and the Monroe Brothers, along with an entire disc of sermons. “I was doing a radio show of old-timey music at Georgia State University and I just noticed a void in gospel music reissues,” he explained in an online chat. “That led me to write a letter to a collector about whom I’d read on the internet [Joe Bussard]. He lived in Maryland and owned over 25,000 78 rpm records. Over time we developed a nice relationship, and for the next year-and-a-half I listened to all of his religious records. He would make me cassettes of the songs for $.50 a track and I’d get them and listen to them every night on headphones and would have the hair on the back of my neck raised. It was an incredible time!”

The force of this old time religion can be heard elsewhere, from the White Stripes’ now trademark renditions of Son House’s “John The Revelator,” to former 16 Horsepower front-man David Eugene Edwards’ latest haunting project, Woven Hand. But for anyone familiar with roots music of the past 20 years, the revival of that spirit can be credited to only one man: T-Bone Burnett.

The High Priest
“I’ve made it a policy not to talk about Bob Dylan,” T-Bone Burnett has repeatedly said. “But I will say this, his career has been about Bob Dylan’s search for God.” Burnett, a devout born-again Christian from Texas, first made his name after Dylan enlisted him in 1975 for the Rolling Thunder Revue. Less than three years later, Dylan himself was taking Bible study classes and damning non-believers both in his songs and on-stage harangues.

While Burnett’s influence on Dylan’s conversion was probably minimal, his influence on reconnecting America with its gospel music tradition has been immeasurable. Although he never found his footing as a solo artist, his work as a producer has invariably put them in touch with the rich heritage of American song that Burnett seems to be able to summon at will. His greatest recent accomplishment has been as the architect of the O Brother Where Art Thou? phenomenon. The multi-million selling soundtrack proved far more lasting than its film, spawning a further documentary of live performances (Down From The Mountain), a tour, and unprecedented new followings for many of its artists.

Audiences have been treated to many remarkable moments, such as Ralph Stanley singing the gospel standard “O Death” at the 2002 Grammy Awards, a night when O Brother swept every category it was in. When speaking to No Depression, Burnett admitted that O Brother’s success could at least partly be credited to America’s state of mind following 9/11, a time when “people wanted to connect to who we are. Elvis [Costello] said that ‘O Death’ was the truest response to the bombing that had come from the arts. That’s true, even though it was actually done before 9/11. It was an unconscious thing.”

In fact, what makes Burnett’s work so special is that the spirituality he injects most often is unconscious, making it an inclusive listening experience in a pure gospel sense. When asked by Radix Magazine in the early ’90s about changes in the cultural perception of Christianity that resulted from Dylan’s conversion, Burnett was eerily prophetic in how the hardliners were beginning to take over America. “It was exciting for a while to see all this stuff going on, but a lot of things never led anywhere. It’s funny to see how some of the people who were part of that have now turned into incredibly right-wing dupes. They’re falling right into line with nationalist-type power needs. What I believe now is that maybe they were fearful at the time. Maybe what they were about at the time was all fear. There’s a tremendous amount of fear in the evangelical church.”

Of course, that fear has only been heightened by current world events, but the hope provided by artists like Burnett and others in tune with gospel messages will always be the antidote. They are present in every genre of music, whether the artists are conscious of it or not.

The New Disciples
“I don’t plan things out,” Daniel Smith says. “I try to be obedient to what the Lord is showing me and telling me to write and play. It’s like putting a puzzle together in the dark and trying to stay out of the way as much as possible. I have very little idea of what I am doing.”

When Smith first appeared with his siblings in 1994 as the Danielson Famile, reactions were a mix of awe at the odd-yet-uplifting music they made, and confusion over what precisely their intention was in bringing a strong Christian-based philosophy to indie rock. Speaking with the conviction of a true preacher, Smith says he found God a year prior to the band’s first album, A Prayer For Every Hour, as he finished his final year of art college. The band has since gone on to release five more uniquely rough-edged albums and spawn many offshoots, released through Smith’s label Sounds Familyre. His latest outing is as Br. Danielson, a solo album entitled Brother Is To Son, which ventures into confessional singer-songwriter territory. It is some of Smith’s most heartfelt work to date, with his faith being the cornerstone in exploring other subjects, like his job as a carpenter.

When asked to describe his music, Smith states with typical aplomb, “Rock’n’roll came out of the invisible Church, so musically and spiritually I feel connected to those roots. My relationship with Christ in the details of the everyday is my source and my inspiration. I have no faith in politics or pop culture, they all fade away over and over again. I do think many people everywhere are starving for something deeper than themselves.”

What makes Smith unusual among spiritually-informed artists is that he actually professes no allegiance to any organised religion. He says, “I think the Bible portrays Jesus perfectly. The Lord created everything and uses whatever He wants for whatever He wants.”

Although Smith, and peers like Sufjan Stevens and Pedro The Lion, clearly have no problems espousing their religious conviction with their fans, the challenge of other young, spiritually-informed artists to avoid their work being branded with a “Christian” tag is certainly unfortunate considering how the religion has always been integral to the blues and folk tradition.

One tactic has been to boldly delve into that rich musical heritage and see what comes of it. That’s been the basic formula for success so far for New York’s Ollabelle, whose self-titled debut is a document of their euphoric initial foray into traditional gospel. The six-piece collective, which includes vocalist Amy Helm, daughter of the Band’s Levon Helm, has appropriated a genre they were not born into, but like the Band’s elemental mishmash, Ollabelle’s approach to gospel standards like “Soul Of A Man,” and “Jesus On The Mainline” adds a refreshing musical sophistication to the inherent power of the songs themselves.

Keyboardist Glenn Patscha (a New York resident originally from Winnipeg) says the band formed in late 2001 out of a weekly jam session at an East Village bar. “We did a couple of gospel tunes one night, and the owner of the bar asked us to do a full gospel night every Sunday,” he explains. “People really caught on to it, because it just felt so honest and good, and out of that we started getting this real communal feeling playing together. You can’t help but feel that way when you play this music, and I think part of the fun was that we all sort of discovered that feeling for the first time when we played these songs.”

Although an established musician prior to forming Ollabelle, Patscha says that no one expected the band to catch on this quickly; they are now part of T-Bone Burnett’s DMZ Records roster and are touring with legends like Ralph Stanley. “The most amazing part of what we’ve done has been that this music has afforded us so many opportunities to become better musicians, and better people,” he says. “We’re all on our own spiritual paths from these different places we’ve come from, but we’ve found common ground in this music. I think that’s the appeal of it, that it doesn’t matter what your beliefs are. I think anybody can listen to these songs and be inspired.”

Royal City’s collective approach has likewise drawn comparisons to the Band, but for main songwriter Aaron Riches, his beliefs have always manifested themselves in much more complex ways than traditional gospel songs normally offer. In fact, talking about religion with the Guelph, ON native (currently in Virginia completing his PhD in theology) is both an intimidating and eye-opening experience. The band has just released its third album, Little Heart’s Ease, and while the lyrics once again have a ring of Old Testament starkness that would make Leonard Cohen proud, Riches says that most people miss the point when discussing his spiritual influences.

“Initially, my interest stemmed from English literature, which contains all the stories and metaphors our society is based on,” he says. “And if you go to any university English department and ask what the greatest work in the English language is, most people will say the King James Bible. What made it exciting to me was learning that part of the motivation in translating it into English was to try to create a common language for the first time, and that this language was imbued with a spirit beyond what the words themselves represented. These were some of the greatest poets who ever lived.”

Rather than taking any specific religious stance in his music, as a student of the folk tradition Riches understands its origins in the mysteries of the natural world. However, he admits that this remains a Judeo-Christian tradition simply because of the language used to articulate it. “I just keep going back in time,” he says. “I guess what started with a love of that old, weird American folk music has led me to explore more of where that kind of mystical language came from. So, on this new album there’s probably less of a gospel influence as opposed to maybe the writings of St. Augustine, but to me that’s still a continuation.”

Of course, not everyone is able to grasp such an approach, at least right away. Word had it that Royal City’s British label, Rough Trade, was considering marketing the band specifically to a Christian audience. Riches’ response to that prospect is unexpectedly terse: “No, we’re not a Christian band.”

Still Bigger Than Jesus?
No matter what trends prevail, music, like all art, will always retain a semblance of spirituality, since most accept that the creation of art is a spiritual experience. Of course, this experience is not limited to Christians. The influence of Islam, Rastafarianism, Buddhism, Krishna, Kabbalah – not to mention consciousness-expanding drugs – are separate stories unto themselves. But it seems that music remains one of the few realms where all their shared principles of peace, love, and understanding can be expressed (on the whole) in a non-judgmental way.

In his 1988 book Hungry For Heaven, British music journalist Steve Turner came to that conclusion, stating at the time of its revised edition in 1995, “I’m pretty sure that religious issues will always be fairly prominent in music. It amazes me that secular journalists don’t seem to see how much of rock, and how many of the leading musicians, have had this dalliance with religion. It’s a perpetual issue.”

But whatever beliefs an artist is espousing, they will undoubtedly always go hand-in-hand with a belief that music itself can be considered a spiritually binding force. As Craig Werner quoted Erykah Badu in A Change Is Gonna Come, “I think the Creator loves that we understand to get a foundation and then to build from there. I don’t stifle my creativity or my will to learn. My religion, if I have one, is probably the arts.”


God Was Their Co-Pilot
Rock’s Essential Religious Recordings

Elvis Presley – Peace In The Valley (RCA, 2000)
This three-disc set is intended to be the last word on the King’s treasured gospel side. With 87 tracks, there’s no denying that this was a major aspect of his art, one that made it acceptable for other rockers to venture into the sacred. Songs range from favourites like “His Hand In Mine” to the previously unreleased “Why Me Lord?”

The Electric Prunes – Mass In F Minor (Reprise, 1968)
More a construct of uber-hip producer/arranger David Axelrod, this acid rock landmark remains mind-boggling in both its audacity and power. Some will recognise “Kyrie Eleison” from the Easy Rider soundtrack, while others will note the album’s influence on Spinal Tap’s “Rock ‘N Roll Creation.”

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (Warner Bros., 1968)
While not a religious album per se, Morrison’s unbridled performance certainly sees him at times approaching a state of nirvana few others glimpsed before or since. As his first proper solo album it set the standard for the spiritual journey he would undertake for the rest of his career, although he never recaptured the magic of this mystical document.

George Harrison – All Things Must Pass (Apple, 1970)
As the “spiritual” Beatle, Harrison’s beliefs brought the world to India, but on this solo debut, he manages to successfully weave them into a powerful wide-screen rock sound, with the help of Phil Spector and Eric Clapton. Despite its subject matter, “My Sweet Lord” was an undeniable hit, while the title track and “Art Of Dying” reveal a wisdom far beyond his years.

Bob Dylan – Slow Train Coming (Columbia, 1979)
At the time a shocking move for the born-again Jewish kid, Slow Train Coming remains one of his most well-crafted (and well-produced) albums. Twenty-five years on, the sheer beauty of “I Believe In You” and pure gospel zeal of “Gotta Serve Somebody” is undiminished. Also see 1980’s Saved and 1981’s Shot Of Love.

Sam Phillips – Zero Zero Zero (Virgin, 1999)
The wife of T-Bone Burnett, Phillips started in the Christian music industry, but eventually crossed over as her richly diverse songs began dealing with more earthly matters. This compilation of her personal favourites is a good introduction to her unique talent, and features contributions from Elvis Costello, Peter Buck, Van Dyke Parks and others.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 168 George Harrison’s song AWAITING ON YOU ALL Part B (Featured artist is Michelle Mackey )

 

George Harrison – Awaiting On You All (Backing Track – Early Take)

George Harrison – ‘Awaiting On You All’ – Original Audio

Francis Schaeffer in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? gives us some insight into a possible answer to that question WHY WAS DRUG-TAKING AND EASTERN RELIGIONS SO POPULAR IN THE 1960’s IN USA?

The younger people and the older ones tried drug taking but then turned to the eastern religions. Both drugs and the eastern religions seek truth inside one’s own head, a negation of reason. The central reason of the popularity of eastern religions in the west is a hope for a nonrational meaning to life and values. The reason the young people turn to eastern religion is simply the fact as we have said and that is that man having moved into the area of nonreason could put anything up there and the heart of the eastern religions  is a denial of reason just exactly as the idealistic drug taking was. So the turning to the eastern religions today fits exactly into the modern existential  methodology, the existential thinking of modern man, of trying to find some optimistic hope in the area of nonreason when he has given up hope on a humanistic basis of finding any kind of unifying answer to life, any meaning to life in the answer of reason. 

An article calledHoly Wars” was based on Francis Schaeffer’s writings primarily and it noted:

Then came the Beatles. John Lennon had declared that his group was more popular than Jesus. But they weren’t willing to stop there. They sought to supplant the true God with everything false. After the rock icons returned from India they brought with them not only the music of the Hindu guru Ravi Shankar, but also his religion as taught by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They were so impressed with that guru’s Transcendental Meditation woo woo that they just had to convert the whole Western World to it. The counterculturalists took it all in, hook line and sinker.

George Harrison – Awaiting On You All – Lyrics

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FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Awaiting on You All

On the way home from work one afternoon I listened to the George Harrison song Awaiting on You All that I had copied along with other songs by this artist from his album All Things Must Pass. Hearing this song after so many years (it was on a CD that I had lost and just found again) was an interesting experience, and as often happens when you unearth some part of your past and compare it with your present, I heard it almost with fresh ears. I am not the same person that I was then. I was in my twenties when I followed George Harrison both musically and spiritually. Though the Eastern religious views he espoused most of his public life were similar to mine at that age, it didn’t take long for me to outgrow them. ‘Outgrow’ is not exactly the right word, though. I didn’t really outgrow them. You could say I traded them in, new lamps for old. I never struck a better deal.

Still, listening to the song I was amazed just how spot on he was in much of what he was saying. I can still relate to almost all of it. I don’t think that either of us, George or I, was aware of the fuzzy thinking that made us combine devotion and belief in Krishna and Jesus without noticing the two aren’t the same. I’m not talking about doctrinal or religious differences. Hinduism and Christianity are distinct religions, granted, but anyone who believes in God knows, ‘God is God. There is no thing you can compare to God. God is God.’ We tend to believe that at best other religions are wrong in the details but right in the big picture. This may be true, but no one can say so without denying his faith community. In youth, I think we were bored with dogmatic strongholds, and wanted the freedom to meet God on our terms, not according to those of our ancestors. How little did we understand that ‘the ancestors in stone armor calling for loyalty untrue’ seeking ‘to make a zigzag of the arrow’s flight’ were doing no such thing.

No, they knew that the shortest path between two points is rarely a straight line, though arrows may fly to their mark, being projectiles aimed at a target. Unfortunately people are not projectiles, and our destination is not really a target, no matter how much we wish we could hit the bullseye. We are beings fashioned in the Divine image and likeness. We live in more than three, more even than four, dimensions, and the paths we tread cannot be traced, planned or prophesied by mortal logic or the magic of music. They are no more than mere beginnings, our thoughts and feelings, before we bump into the aweful reality which we glibly like to call ‘God.’ Meet Him on our terms? Hardly possible, unless He allows it, and only as a sign that He is there, hidden behind our wall, waiting for us to…
No, that is also just what we glibly like to think, as George Harrison sings in his song…

You don’t need no love in
You don’t need no bed pan
You don’t need a horoscope or a microscope
To see the mess that you’re in
If you open up your heart
You will know what I mean
We’ve been polluted so long
Now here’s a way for you to get clean

By chanting the names of the Lord, and you’ll be free
The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see…

You don’t need no passport

And you don’t need no visas
You don’t need to designate or to emigrate
Before you can see Jesus
If you open up your heart
You’ll see he’s right there
Always was and will be
He’ll relieve you of your cares

You don’t need no church house
And you don’t need no Temple
You don’t need no rosary beads or them books to read
To see that you have fallen
If you open up your heart
You will know what I mean
We’ve been kept down so long
Someone’s thinking that we’re all green

… The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see
By chanting the names of the Lord, and you’ll be free

I purposely left out the stanza about the pope owning controlling interest in General Motors and not being qualified to quote us anything but the Stock Exchange. This is childish talk and hatchets all the good things he has to say. This, I find, is true of youthful thinkers in every generation. It’s true of otherwise noble and idealistic youth today. It was true of me as a Vietnam War draft resister. We ‘let the cat out of the bag’ about ourselves when we pounce on anyone, especially an authority figure we don’t approve of, and show that, however pure we think our motives, however lofty our ideals, we’re still no better than the fallen heroes we no longer believe in. What George Harrison says in this song I still agree with. Where I have a problem, is what he proposes as a solution to the mess we find ourselves in. As much as I enjoyed chanting Hare Krishna, it didn’t save me, or the world, and it never will.

But the rest is, amazingly, true, as I have found out in the intervening years. The words about Jesus are almost straight out of the Bible. The words about churches and temples, the same. Somebody went to Sunday School as a child. Yes, you’re right. I did.
I know that for sure, and guess what? It stuck. What started out as an incomprehensible religious upbringing somehow became comprehensible when it finally collided with what I was made for.

Yes, my parachute failed to open, and the earth received my bruised and broken body. I was alive for just a moment, just long enough for me to realize I was about to die. Then His gentle hands slipped under my head and shoulders as He lifted me up from what should have been my grave. He had already been there, aeons before I came to birth or leapt to my unintended death. No, this did not literally happen. I’ve never used a parachute. But His hands are real.

Awaiting on You All, a great song,
but He is waiting only from our point of view.
On His side, we are either already with Him, or without Him.

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Featured Artist: Michelle Mackey

By

Editor

01/03/2013Posted in: Featured Artist, Painters

'Fence Climber'. Oil on Canvas. 36"x36".

‘Fence Climber’. 2005. Oil on Canvas. 36″x36″.

Michelle Mackey is a painter who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Dallas, TX.  She has exhibited extensively in both of those locations, as well as other places inside of and outside of the United States.  In 1999, she received an MFA from Pratt Institute.  Her work has been featured in several publications, including The Christian Century and New American Paintings.

A variety of everday textures, surfaces and structures make up the visual repository from which Mackey’s paintings emerge.  She describes her process in this way:

The story of my process is embedded in layers of paint (layers of choices) visible on the canvas: a trail of past decisions shutting off certain paths to allow other possibilities. I’m searching, tweaking, scratching, both my mind and the image on the canvas, to uncover what I am really seeing and the process of how I see. On my microcosmic-level, I am looking into a larger system beyond the individual. I do not believe in chance or events without purpose, so I do feel that my search will reveal certain truths or aspects of a larger truth.

How do you paint a memory?  Memory is a constant theme in Mackey’s work.  We all have some idea of what it might mean to paint from our memories, but Mackey’s paintings are more like the memories themselves.

Like a memory, one peers into the amorphous forms that haunt her canvases, and one has the sense of staring backward into time.  These images are often vague and nebulous, and they tantalize us with the distance between what could be and what really is. Her 2011 Black Series (see Intermezzo below) is an excellent example.  Although these paintings are bare and monotone, Mackey achieves a remarkable sense of depth and ambiguity.  Forms emerge and disappear.  Mackey gives us representation with one hand, while she simultaneously takes it away with the other.

Like a memory, viewing one of Mackey’s paintings can be spatially disorienting.  Her collages of textures, surfaces and structures do not obey the laws of the physical universe.  One texture bleeds into another.  What appears, at first glance, to be up may on a second viewing strike us as upside down.  In Fashion Awards (below), the lines and structures that appear are actually old blueprints for television-show scenery.  These plans, which no longer serve any function, are so covered that spatial orientation and dimension is difficult to decipher.  They are the remains of a television image; a memory of a memory.

Like a memory, Mackey’s paintings are layered.  Our deepest memories are colored and warped by the passage of time.   What they mean to us change and shift along with us.  A painting like Blue Spring (below) is suggestive of process of layering that builds up over time.  Although much is covered, there is very little in this painting that seems dispensable.

Memories form an essential component of our sense of identity.  Who we believe our selves to be, and what we believe ourselves to be capable of becoming, is inextricably connected to our own memories and the memories that have been handed down to us.  For many of us, these memories bear the dead weight of regret and failure, and they tell us that history will only ever repeat itself.  Mackey’s process suggests, to the contrary, that we are free to explore our memories and that we are graciously and mysteriously free to imagine new ways of relating to our memories.

Memory is really only one aspect of a very rich body of work.  If you would like to learn more about Mackey’s work, I encourage you to visit her website.  There, you can view online galleries, an artist statement, video of her painting process and more.

'Intermezzo'. Acrylic and Enamel on Resin Coated Panel. 47"x47".

‘Intermezzo’. 2011. Acrylic and Enamel on Resin Coated Panel. 47″x47″.

'Fashion Awards'. 2009. Acrylic and Pencil on Paper, Mounted on Panel. 9.5"x11".

‘Fashion Awards’. 2009. Acrylic and Pencil on Paper, Mounted on Panel. 9.5″x11″.

'Blue Spring'. 2003. Oil on Linen. 24"x24".

‘Blue Spring’. 2003. Oil on Linen. 24″x24″.

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This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible by Nicholas Reilly

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I was a big Roger Moore fan over the years and  I  loved each James Bond movie he was in. Sean Connery was an outstanding  Bond too.

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BREAKING: Roger Moore Dies, Legendary James Bond Star Dead at 89

Sir Roger Moore Tribute

 

A View To A Kill – Eiffel Tower

Octopussy (1983) – Intro (1/2)

 

Octopussy (1983) – Intro (2/2)

The Spy Who Loved Me – Skiing Opening Scene

Crocodile Farm Escape (Live And Let Die)

 

LIVE AND LET DIE (1973) Crocodile Jump Attempts (Behind the Scenes)

Published on Sep 19, 2014

Ross Kananga secured the feet of three crocodiles to the shallow pond’s bottom, leaving their jaws and tails free. After removing the other reptiles from the pond, Kananga attempted the dangerous cross. He slipped into the water on the first four tries, but fortunately fell out of the crocodiles snapping jaws. On the fifth attempt, he executed the stunt flawlessly.

Live and Let Die (1973) – Intro

Blofeld’s Death: James Bond 007 – For Your Eyes Only 1981 – Helicopter Dropoff – 1080p HD

This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible

This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible
Sir Roger Moore died earlier today (Picture: WENN)

Sir Roger Moore has died after a battle with cancer – and his passing marks the departure of a bonafide screen legend.

But while his heroic on screen credentials are unquestionable, it seems that he was every bit a brilliant man off screen too.

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Scriptwriter Marc Haynes gave proof of this by sharing his experience of meeting Sir Roger Moore on two separate occasions.

The first came during the 1980s, when Marc was a young boy and spotted Sir Roger Moore at Nice Airport – before pleading with his granddad to ask the Bond star for an autograph.

The second meeting, of which we won’t divulge too much, comes decades later – and it is an exchange that shows Sir Roger to be a man of unquestionable class.

Here’s his incredible story.

This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible

This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible

What a man. What a legend.

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Movies on You Tube

WHATEVER WORKS

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The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen) 1985 English

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Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989 Woody Allen

What’s Up Tiger Lily? (1966)

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Woody Allen on The Jack Paar Show (re-sync)

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Like Milton Friedman Rand Paul is standing against other Republicans who want to add to government overspending!!!

Like Milton Friedman Rand Paul is standing against other Republicans who want to add to government overspending!!!

Milton Friedman – A Limit On Spending

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Rand Paul Defects on Proposed Health Law Repeal

Republican senator says measure to begin process of repealing Affordable Care Act adds too much to federal budget deficit

Sen. Rand Paul, shown at an event on Oct. 27, says the Republicans’ measure to begin repealing the Affordable Care Act would add $9.7 trillion in debt over 10 years to the federal budget.ENLARGE
Sen. Rand Paul, shown at an event on Oct. 27, says the Republicans’ measure to begin repealing the Affordable Care Act would add $9.7 trillion in debt over 10 years to the federal budget. PHOTO: TIMOTHY D. EASLEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON—Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said Wednesday that he would oppose the budget measure Republicans are counting on to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, leaving the effort in danger of derailing if any other GOP senators defect.

The Senate on Wednesday took its first procedural vote on the budget measure, a vehicle that Republicans can use to repeal the 2010 health-care law with a simple majority vote. Republicans now hold only 52 seats in the Senate, where most legislation needs 60 votes to pass.

Mr. Paul said Wednesday he would vote against the budget measure because it adds too much to the federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2017.

“I’m a no,” he said in a brief interview. “It adds $9.7 trillion in debt over 10 years.”

Other Senate Republicans, including Susan Collins of Maine and Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee, have voiced concerns about repealing the health-care law before the GOP has settled on a plan to replace it. However, all three voted to advance the budget in an early procedural vote Wednesday, which passed 51-48, allowing the Senate to consider the measure.

Mr. Paul was the only Republican to join the entire Democratic caucus in voting not to move forward with the budget blueprint. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) didn’t vote.

Other senators could still raise objections ahead of the final vote—on either the plan to repeal the health-care law or on the budget itself.

Aware of the razor-thin margins, GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida wrote Tuesday in a joint letter to GOP Senate leaders that while they understood the budget was “primarily a mechanism to advance [the health law’s] repeal,” the Senate should still abstain from any budget devices that they oppose.

“Our votes in favor of the ‘Obamacare Repeal Resolution’ do not indicate in any way our support for the revenue, spending, and deficit numbers therein, nor for the use of those numbers as the basis for future federal budgets,” the three senators wrote, using the GOP nickname for the budget blueprint.

The next fiscal year’s budget, expected to pass this spring and help Republicans overhaul the tax code, must balance the federal budget in 10 years, they wrote.

Budget blueprints are nonbinding documents used by political parties to signal how they think federal dollars should be spent. The budget document introduced in the Senate Tuesday also starts the process of repealing the health-care law.

The Senate’s budget resolution directs four relevant committees, two in the Senate and two in the House, to write legislation by Jan. 27 that reconciles spending and tax policy with the budget blueprint for the coming fiscal year. Embedded in the committees’ legislation will be provisions that repeal much of the health law.

Democrats, who have paid a heavy political price for the health law’s unpopularity, said Republicans will now bear responsibility for any attempts to gut and replace it.

“Now, they’re gonna own it, and all the problems in the health-care system are going to be on their backs,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Wednesday.

Write to Kristina Peterson at kristina.peterson@wsj.com and Siobhan Hughes at siobhan.hughes@wsj.com

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Champion of Liberty by Stephen Moore Friday, October 26, 2012

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Socialism, RIP Tottering European economies prove again the Keynesian model is a failure By Stephen Moore – – Sunday, July 12, 2015

Free to Choose: Part 1 of 10 The Power of the Market (Featuring Milton Friedman) Free to Choose Part 2: The Tyranny of Control (Featuring Milton Friedman Socialism, RIP Tottering European economies prove again the Keynesian model is a failure By Stephen Moore – – Sunday, July 12, 2015 ANALYSIS/OPINION: A few years ago, the […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY What Would Milton Friedman Say? Immigration opponents often try to claim the famed economist as an ally. They’re mistaken. By STEPHEN MOORE Updated May 29, 2013 8:31 p.m. ET

Free to Choose: Part 1 of 10 The Power of the Market (Featuring Milton Friedman) What Would Milton Friedman Say? Immigration opponents often try to claim the famed economist as an ally. They’re mistaken. By STEPHEN MOORE Updated May 29, 2013 8:31 p.m. ET One of the fascinating sideshows of the immigration debate within the […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Obama loves the death tax but listen to what Milton Friedman had to say about it!!!

__ Obama loves the death tax but listen to what Milton Friedman had to say about it!!! Milton Friedman Redistribution of Wealth and the Death Tax ___________ The Obama Administration’s Assault on the Rule of Law September 6, 2016 by Dan Mitchell What’s the worst development in economic policy of the Obama years? The faux stimulus […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Dan Mitchell and Milton Friedman: Subsidies for Higher Education Are the Problem!

Milton Friedman – Should Higher Education Be Subsidized? Published on Aug 14, 2013 Professor Friedman leads a roundtable discussion with students. http://www.LibertyPen.com Hillary Is Wrong: Subsidies for Higher Education Are the Problem, not the Solution August 24, 2016 by Dan Mitchell “So many bad ideas, so little time.” That’s my attitude about Hillary Clinton. She proposes […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman and Walter Williams have explained, minimum wage laws are especially harmful for blacks!

Milton Friedman – A Conversation On Minimum Wage Published on Oct 4, 2013 A debate on whether the minimum wage hurts or helps the working class. http://www.LibertyPen.com Is Anybody Shocked that Higher Minimum Wage Mandates Are Resulting in Fewer Jobs? August 25, 2016 by Dan Mitchell While economists are famous for their disagreements (and their incompetent […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman and Dan Mitchell look at the economics of medical care!!

Milton Friedman on Medical Care (Full Lecture) Another Grim Reminder that Obamacare Has Made Healthcare More Expensive August 29, 2016 by Dan Mitchell Way back in 2009, some folks on the left shared a chart showing that national expenditures on healthcare compared to life expectancy. This comparison was not favorable to the United States, which easily […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY 2 videos by Milton Friedman on welfare state plus 2 cartoons that illustrate the fate of socialism from the Cato Institute

__________   Cato Institute scholar Dan Mitchell is right about Greece and the fate of socialism: Two Pictures that Perfectly Capture the Rise and Fall of the Welfare State July 15, 2011 by Dan Mitchell In my speeches, especially when talking about the fiscal crisis in Europe (or the future fiscal crisis in America), I often […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman has the two solutions to the Black Teenage Unemployment Problem!!!

Milton Friedman on Donahue Show in 1979 Milton Friedman has the two solutions to the Black Teenage Unemployment Problem!!! The solutions would be first to lower the Minimum Wage Amount and  second give students the opportunity to have vouchers so their parents can put them in the best schools when they start in the kindergarten […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 120 Caroline Humphrey , Asian Anthropology, King’s College, “Though I am not very active now;  I think the culture of religion or what religious people have done in our history is so huge and enormous, I mean it is so much the background of being an European person that you can’t ignore it”

 

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

Interview with Caroline Humphrey

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Caroline Humphrey interviewed by Alan Macfarlane 5th August 2010.

All revenues are donated to the World Oral Literature Project: http://www.oralliterature.org/

For a full, higher quality, downloadable version, please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.co

Wikipedia notes:

Caroline Humphrey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dame Caroline Humphrey, Lady Rees of Ludlow, DBE, FBA (née Waddington, born 1 September 1943) is a British anthropologist and academic.

Biography[edit]

Humphrey’s father was the biologist Conrad H. Waddington.[1]

Humphrey received her BA in Social Anthropology from Girton College, Cambridge. Her PhD, completed in 1973, was entitled Magical Drawings in the Religion of the Buryat. She received the Rivers Memorial Medal in 1999,[2] and, in 2003, an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Mongolia.[3]

Personal life[edit]

In 1967, Caroline Waddington married Nicholas Humphrey; they had no children and divorced in 1977. In 1986, she married Martin Rees, and became Lady Rees after her husband was appointed a Knight Bachelor in 1992.[4]

Research and Positions[edit]

Humphrey has conducted extensive research in Siberia, Nepal, India, Mongolia, China (Inner Mongolia), Uzbekistan and Ukraine. In 1966, she was one of the first anthropologists from a western country to be allowed to do fieldwork in the USSR. Her PhD (1973) focussed on Buryat religious iconography, and ensuing research topics have included Soviet collective farms, the farming economy in India and Tibet, Jainist culture in India, and environmental and cultural conservation in Inner Asia.[5]

Between 1971 and 1978, she undertook research and official fellowships at Girton College, Cambridge and at the Scott Polar Research Institute. From 1978 to 1983 she lectured at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, before becoming a Director of Studies in Archaeology and Anthropology in 1984-89, and 1992-96. Humphrey has held the posts of University Reader in Asian Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 1995-98; University Professor of Asian Anthropology, 1998–2006; Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan, 2000; and Rausing Professorship of Collaborative Anthropology, 2006–10.

She co-founded the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit (MIASU) in 1986 at Cambridge. She retired from her post as Sigrid Rausing Professor of Collaborative Anthropology at the University of Cambridge to become Voluntary Research Director of MIASU in October 2010.[6]

She has been a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge since 1978. In 2010, she completed the manuscript of a monograph, jointly authored with Hurelbaatar Ujeed, entitled A Monastery in Time: the Making of Mongolian Buddhism. The book was the culmination of much fieldwork and visits, from 1995, to Mergen Monastery in the Urad region of Inner Mongolia (China), where a distinctive form of Mongolian-language Buddhism has been upheld since the 18th century.

In  the second video below in the 72nd clip in this series are her 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)

 

Below is a letter I wrote to her responding to the quote:

March 17, 2015

Professor Caroline Humphrey, Asian Anthropology, King’s College,

Dear Dr. Humphrey,

I was very honored on the 13th day January of 2015 to get this email back from your husband:

Your letter and its attachments has arrived. Sincerest thanks for getting in touch. Yes, I have had the privilege of knowing Owen Gingerich for many years and have recently read his excellent new book. I share emotions of mystery and wonder with religious people, but don’t have any ‘beliefs’ — and indeed wouldn’t expect human brains to be capable of more than a very incomplete and metaphorical understanding of deep reality – even a single atom is hard for most people to understand! Regards and thanks Martin Rees

Your husband was very gracious to take the time to get back to me and he is a classy guy!!!! I actually sent him a  CD called IS THE BIBLE TRUE? that discusses the historical accuracy of the Bible and it is the same exact message  that I sent in cassette tape form to Antony Flew in 1994 and Dr. Flew said he enjoyed it and we corresponded several times in the 1990’s. It is truly ironic to me that the same Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee where I bought that original cassette tape in 1994 is the same church in 2007 where I bought Antony Flew’s book THERE IS A GOD.

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

Recently I noticed these comments by you in that wonderful in-depth interview by Dr. Alan Macfarlane:

(FIRST PARAGRAPH) My grandmother was a Fabian and quite an  intellectual – Amber Pember Reeves; she read moral sciences at Newnham and she  was a big influence on my life: she had an affair with H.G. Wells when she was  a student which was a big scandal at the time; she became pregnant so my aunt  is her daughter by H.G. Wells; as he was not going to marry her, to her rescue  came a nice young lawyer, my grandfather, who made her respectable; his name  was Blanco-White…

(SECOND PARAGRAPH) …I do remember in my teens thinking  I ought to sneak out and actually go to churches to see what went on in them; I  did try to look inside some churches in Edinburgh, but it was a pretty frosty  city and the churches were not places you could drop into; I suppose I was  rather ignorant of all that and remain so to some extent; when, here in  Cambridge, people go to chapel, and I have to do so now for various reasons,  everybody lustily sings hymns that they all know, but I don’t know them; I  think perhaps this thwarted early interest was why I became interested in  shamanism and other religious faiths; I also did become interested in  Christianity, and for a period was quite religious; I did get Confirmed in the  Church of England in middle-age,so it is a dimension of life that I have some  feeling for, though I am not very active now;  I think the culture of religion or what religious people have done in our history is so huge and enormous, I mean it is so much the background of being an European person that you can’t ignore it, and to understand it you have to know what it is to be religious….

(THIRD PARAGRAPH) …I think science can disprove many of  the claims of people who are religious – the absurdity of particular dates of  creation, or miracles – but I don’t think science could do anything about what  people feel about essential mysteries which we don’t understand and may never  understand, yet we have intimations that there are things that maybe our brains  are not capable of appreciating; at any rate there does seem to be some order  behind things that we don’t have an explanation for; all of that kind of thing  is part of being human, and I don’t think that science is going to disprove it  or prove it;

___________

You will notice I actually took three different quotes from your lengthy interview from Alan Macfarlane because I wanted to comment on all three parts.

In the second paragraph you noted that you used to involved in the Christian faith but like Darwin you now consider yourself an agnostic. I wondered if you have struggled with the same issues that Darwin did while losing his faith? In the first  paragraph you noted your family’s connection to the historian H.G.Wells and in the third paragraph you asserted that some claims of the Bible can be disproved by science. I totally agree that could be the cause. Take a look at this quote below.

ADRIAN ROGERS FROM HIS MESSAGE ON “DARWINISM” (which I sent to you today):

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

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

__________

You should realize that if there was no Garden of Eden then all the historicity of the Bible crumbles with it. Therefore, I wanted to challenge you to google some of these historical events and see what you find:  1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Now lets move on to two passions of your father and they are  art and science. Does the world fit the chance universe that your famous father C.H. Waddington envisioned? As you know John Cage and him tried to combine them!!!!!

Recently I read that John Cage was invited by C.H. Waddington to speak at a symposium back in the 1970’s entitled, “Biology and the History of the Future” sponsored by the International Union of Biological Sciences in an attempt to “promote reciprocity between the arts and sciences.” His contributions to the symposium were edited by Waddington and published by Edinburgh University Press in 1972.

I wanted to share a paragraph I read in the article “NOWHERE ELSE TO TURN:CHANCE VERSUS DESIGN:” 

In THE GOD WHO IS THERE, Francis Schaeffer refers to the American composer John Cage who believes that the universe is impersonal by nature and that it originated only through pure chance.  In an attempt to live consistently with this personal philosophy, Cage composes all of his music by various chance agencies.  He uses, among other things, the tossing of coins and the rolling of dice to make sure that no personal element enters into the final product.  The result is music that has no form, no structure and, for the most part, no appeal.  Though Cage’s professional life accurately reflects his belief in a universe that has no order, his personal life does not, for his favorite pastime is mycology, the collecting of mushrooms, and because of the potentially lethal results of picking a wrong mushroom, he cannot approach it on a purely by-chance basis.  Concerning that, he states: “I became aware that if I approached mushrooms in the spirit of my chance operations, I would die shortly.”  John Cage “believes” one thing, but practices another.  In doing so, he is an example of the person described in Romans 1:18 who “suppresses the truth of God,” for when faced with the certainty of order in the universe, he still clings to his theory of randomness.

This  from  John Cage made me think of you and your father  when I read the book Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters  because of what Darwin said on this same issue of intelligent design. IS THIS WORLD A RESULT OF TIME AND CHANCE OR WAS IS CREATED BY A DESIGNER? I am going to quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

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

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

Francis Schaeffer noted:

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

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

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

Francis Schaeffer commented:

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

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

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

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

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

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

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

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

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

Francis Schaeffer observed:

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

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

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

Francis Schaeffer summarized :

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

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

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

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

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

________________________

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

_______________________________________

IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

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

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

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

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

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

PS: I understand that you studied under the famous professor Edmund Leach. Some have said that he was a poor lecturer but I understand you liked his lectures. 

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

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

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

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Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

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American Masters John Cage- I Have Nothing to Say and I Am Saying It

John Cage – 4’33”

Uploaded on Oct 1, 2010

John Cage’s most famous musical composition is called 4’33”.

It consists of the pianist going to the piano, and not hitting any keys for four minutes and thirty-three seconds (he uses a stopwatch to time this). In other words, the entire piece consists of silences — silences of different lengths, they say…

(c) John Cage

________

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

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS! Max Perutz, Cambridge, molecular biologist, “I don’t think we should upset those people who [believe in religion] , who are a very large number of reasonable and decent people”

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

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

Arif AhmedHaroon Ahmed,  Jim Al-Khalili, Louise Antony, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BateSir Patrick BatesonSimon Blackburn, Colin Blakemore, Ned BlockPascal BoyerPatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky, Brian CoxPartha Dasgupta,  Alan Dershowitz, Frank DrakeHubert Dreyfus, John Dunn, Ken EdwardsBart Ehrman, Mark ElvinRichard Ernst, Stephan Feuchtwang, Robert FoleyDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan Greenfield, Stephen Jay GouldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan Haidt, Chris Hann,  Theodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Stephen HawkingHermann Hauser, Peter HiggsRobert HindeRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodGerard ‘t HooftCaroline HumphreyNicholas Humphrey,  Herbert Huppert,  Sir Andrew Fielding HuxleyGareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart KauffmanMasatoshi Koshiba,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George Lakoff,  Rodolfo Llinas, Seth Lloyd,  Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan Macfarlane, Colin McGinnDan McKenzie,  Mahzarin Banaji, Michael MannPeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  P.Z.Myers,   Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff, David Parkin,  Jonathan Parry, Roger Penrose,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceVS RamachandranLisa RandallLord Martin ReesColin RenfrewAlison Richard,  C.J. van Rijsbergen,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerJohn SulstonBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisMax Tegmark, Michael Tooley,  Neil deGrasse Tyson,  Martinus J. G. Veltman, Craig Venter.Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John Walker, James D. WatsonFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

Max Perutz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Max Perutz
Max Perutz.jpg

Perutz in 1962, age 52
Born Max Ferdinand Perutz
19 May 1914
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died 6 February 2002 (aged 87)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire,England
Nationality British
Fields Molecular biology,Crystallography
Institutions University of Cambridge,Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Alma mater University of Vienna
Peterhouse, Cambridge
Doctoral advisor J.D. Bernal
Doctoral students Francis Crick; John Keith Moffat
Known for Heme-containing proteins
Notable awards
Spouse Gisela Clara Peiser (m. 1942; 2 children)

Max Ferdinand Perutz OM CH CBE FRS (19 May 1914 – 6 February 2002)[1] was an Austrian-born British molecular biologist, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with John Kendrew, for their studies of the structures of hemoglobin and myoglobin. He went on to win the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 1971 and the Copley Medal in 1979. At Cambridge he founded and chaired (1962–79) The Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, fourteen of whose scientists have won Nobel Prizes. Perutz’s contributions to molecular biology in Cambridge are documented in The History of the University of Cambridge: Volume 4 (1870 to 1990) published by the Cambridge University Press in 1992.

Early life[edit]

Perutz was born in Vienna, the son of Adele “Dely” (Goldschmidt) and Hugo Perutz, a textile manufacturer.[2][3] His parents were Jewish by ancestry, but had baptized Perutz in the Catholic religion.[4][5][6] Although Perutz rejected religion and was an atheist in his later years, he was against offending others for their religious beliefs.[7][8]

Career[edit]

His parents hoped that he would become a lawyer, but he became interested in chemistry while at school. Overcoming his parents’ objections he enrolled as a chemistry undergraduate at the University of Vienna and completed his degree in 1936. Made aware by lecturer Fritz von Wessely of the advances being undertaken at the University of Cambridge into biochemistry by a team led by Gowland Hopkins, he asked Professor Marks who was soon to visit Cambridge to make inquiries to Hopkins about whether there would be a place for him. However Marks forgot. However he had visited J.D. Bernal, who was looking for a research student to assist him with studies into X-ray crystallography.[9] Perutz was dismayed as he knew nothing about the subject. Marks countered by saying that he would soon learn. Bernal accepted him as a research student in his crystallography research group at Cavendish Laboratory. His father had deposited ₤500 with his London agent to support him. He learnt quickly. Bernal encouraged him to use the X-ray diffraction method to study the structure of proteins. As protein crystals were difficult to obtain he used horse haemoglobin crystals, and began his doctoral thesis on its structure. Haemoglobin was a subject which was to occupy him for most of his professional career. He completed his PhD. under William Lawrence Bragg.

Rejected by Kings and St John’s colleges he applied to and became a member of Peterhouse, on the basis that it served the best food. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of Peterhouse in 1962. He took a keen interest in the Junior Members, and was a regular and popular speaker at the Kelvin Club, the College’s scientific society.

World War 2[edit]

When Hitler took over Austria in 1938 Perutz’s parents managed to escape to Switzerland, but lost all of their money. As a result, Perutz lost their financial support. With his ability to ski, experience in mountaineering since childhood and his knowledge of crystals Perutz was accepted as a member of a three-man team to study the conversion of snow into ice in Swiss glaciers in the summer of 1938. His resulting article for the Proceedings of the Royal Society made him known as an expert on glaciers.[10]

Lawrence Bragg who was head of the Professor of Experimental Physics at Cavendish, thought that Perutz’s research into haemoglobin had promise and encouraged him to apply for a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to continue his research. The application was accepted in January 1939 and with the money Perutz was able to bring his parents from Switzerland in March 1939 to England.[10]

On the outbreak of World War II Perutz was rounded up along with other persons of German or Austrian background, and sent to Newfoundland (on orders from Winston Churchill).[11] After being interned for several months he returned to Cambridge. Because of his previous research into the changes in the arrangement of the crystals in the different layers of a glacier before the War he was asked for advice on whether if a battalion of commandos were landed in Norway, could they be hidden in shelters under glaciers. His knowledge on the subject of ice then lead to him in 1942 being recruited for Project Habakkuk. This was a secret project to build an ice platform in mid-Atlantic, which could be used to refuel aircraft. To that end he investigated the recently invented mixture of ice and woodpulp known as pykrete. He carried out early experiments on pykrete in a secret location underneath Smithfield Meat Market in the City of London.

Establishment of the Molecular Biology Unit[edit]

After the War he returned briefly to glaciology. He demonstrated how glaciers flow.[12][13][14][15][16]

In 1947 Perutz, with the support of Professor Bragg was successful in obtaining support from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to undertake research into the molecular structure of biological systems. This financial support allowed him to establish the Molecular Biology Unit at the Cavendish Laboratory.[17] Perutz’s new unit attracted researchers who realized that the field of molecular biology had great promise, among them was Francis Crick in 1949 and James D. Watson in 1951.

In 1953 Perutz showed that diffracted X-rays from protein crystals could be phased by comparing the patterns from crystals of the protein with and without heavy atoms attached. In 1959 he employed this method to determine the molecular structure of the protein hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood.[citation needed] This work resulted in his sharing with John Kendrew the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Nowadays the molecular structures of several thousand proteins are determined by X-ray crystallography every year.

After 1959, Perutz and his colleagues went on to determine the structure of oxy- and deoxy- hemoglobin at high resolution. As a result, in 1970, he was at last able to suggest how it works as a molecular machine: how it switches between its deoxygenated and its oxygenated states, in turn triggering the uptake of oxygen and then its release to the muscles and other organs. Further work over the next two decades refined and corroborated the proposed mechanism. In addition Perutz studied the structural changes in a number of hemoglobin diseases and how these might affect oxygen binding. He hoped that the molecule could be made to function as a drug receptor and that it would be possible to inhibit or reverse the genetic errors such as those that occur in sickle cell anemia. A further interest was the variation of the hemoglobin molecule from species to species to suit differing habitats and patterns of behavior. In his final years Perutz turned to the study of changes in protein structures implicated in Huntington and other neurodegenerative diseases. He demonstrated that the onset of Huntington disease is related to the number of glutamine repeats as they bind to form what he called a polar zipper.[18]

DNA structure and Rosalind Franklin[edit]

Perutz with his wife Gisela at the 1962 Nobel ball

During the early 1950s, while Watson and Crick were determining the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), they made use of unpublished X-ray diffraction images taken by Rosalind Franklin, shown at meetings and shared with them by Maurice Wilkins, and of Franklin’s preliminary account of her detailed analysis of the X-ray images included in an unpublished 1952 progress report for the King’s College laboratory of Sir John Randall. Randall and others eventually criticized the manner in which Perutz gave a copy of this report to Watson and Crick.

It is debatable whether Watson and Crick should have been granted access to Franklin’s results without her knowledge or permission, and before she had a chance to publish a detailed analysis of the content of her unpublished progress report. It is also not clear how important the content of that report had been for Watson and Crick’s modeling. In an effort to clarify this issue, Perutz later published the report, arguing that it included nothing that Franklin had not said in a talk she gave in late 1951, which Watson had attended. Perutz also added that the report was addressed to an MRC committee created in order to “establish contact between the different groups of people working for the Council”. Randall’s and Perutz’s labs were both funded by the MRC.

The author[edit]

In his later years, Perutz was a regular reviewer/essayist for The New York Review of Books on biomedical subjects. Many of these essays are reprinted in his 1998 book I wish I had made you angry earlier.[19] In August 1985 The New Yorker also published his account tiled “That Was the War: Enemy Alien” of his experiences as an internee during World War 2. Perutz’s flair for writing was a late development. His relative Leo Perutz, a distinguished writer, told Max when he was a boy that he would never be a writer, an unwarranted judgement, as demonstrated by Perutz’s remarkable letters written as an undergraduate. They are published in What a Time I Am Having: Selected Letters of Max Perutz. Perutz was delighted to win the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science in 1997.

The scientist-citizen[edit]

Perutz attacked the theories of philosophers Sir Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn and biologist Richard Dawkins in a lecture given at Cambridge on ‘Living Molecules’ in 1994. He criticised Popper’s notion that science progresses through a process of hypothesis formation and refutation, saying that hypotheses are not necessarily the basis of scientific research and, in molecular biology at least, they are not necessarily subject to revision either. For Perutz, Kuhn’s notion that science advances in paradigm shifts that are subject to social and cultural pressures is an unfair representation of modern science.

These criticisms extended to scientists who attack religion, in particular to Richard Dawkins. Statements which offend religious faith were for Perutz tactless and simply damage the reputation of science. They are of quite a different order to criticism of the demonstrably false theory of creationism. He concluded that “even if we do not believe in God, we should try to live as though we did.”[20]

Within days of the 11 September attacks in 2001, Perutz wrote to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, appealing to him not to respond with military force: “I am alarmed by the American cries for vengeance and concerned that President Bush’s retaliation will lead to the death of thousands more innocent people, driving us into a world of escalating terror and counter-terror. I do hope that you can use your restraining influence to prevent this happening.”[21]

Honours and awards[edit]

Perutz was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1954.[1] In addition to the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1962, which he shared with John Kendrew for their studies of the structures of hemoglobin and myoglobin, Max Perutz received a number of other important honours: he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1963, received the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art in 1967, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 1971, appointed a Companion of Honour in 1975, received the Copley Medal in 1979 and the Order of Merit in 1988.

Perutz was made a Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 1964, received an Honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna (1965) and received the Wilhelm Exner Medal in 1967.[22]

Lectures[edit]

In 1980 he was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on The Chicken, the Egg and the Molecules.

Personal life[edit]

In 1942, Perutz married Gisela Clara Mathilde Peiser (1915-2005), a medical photographer. They had two children, Vivien (b. 1944), an art historian; and Robin (b. 1949), a professor of Chemistry at the University of York. Gisela was a refugee from Germany (she was a Protestant whose own father had been born Jewish).[23]

He was cremated on 12 February 2002 at Cambridge Crematorium (Cambridgeshire) and his ashes interred with his parents Hugo Perutz and Dely Perutz in the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge.[24] His wife was cremated on 28 December 2005 and her ashes were interred in the same grave.

Books by Max Perutz[edit]

  • 1962. Proteins and Nucleic Acids: Structure and Function. Amsterdam and London. Elsevier
  • 1989. Is Science Necessary? Essays on science and scientists. London. Barrie and Jenkins. ISBN 0-7126-2123-7
  • 1990. Mechanisms of Cooperativity and Allosteric Regulation in Proteins. Cambridge. Cambridge University PressISBN 0-521-38648-9
  • 1992. Protein Structure : New Approaches to Disease and Therapy. New York. Freeman (ISBN 0-7167-7021-0)
  • 1997. Science is Not a Quiet Life : Unravelling the Atomic Mechanism of Haemoglobin. Singapore. World Scientific. ISBN 981-02-3057-5
  • 2002. I Wish I’d Made You Angry Earlier.Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. ISBN 978-0-87969-674-0
  • 2009. What a Time I Am Having: Selected Letters of Max Perutz edited by Vivien Perutz. Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. ISBN 978-0-87969-864-5

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In  the second video below in the 77th 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)

________

Max Perutz asserted:   “….we should fight creationism and when asked say we don’t believe in religion. I don’t think we should upset those people who do, who are a very large number of reasonable and decent people.”

Sometimes people like Max Perutz get mad at people like Richard Dawkins but I see where Dawkins is coming from because he feels strongly about what he feels is the truth.

Let me respond with three points.

FIRST, Christ commands us Christians to tell everyone about the gospel because there is a day of Judgment coming.

Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Revelation 14:6-7: “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’”

My former pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church, Adrian Rogers in his sermon A PLACE CALLED HELL noted:

The late, great Dr. Robert G. Lee, who was the pastor of this church, said this, and I wrote it down, he said, ”I know some people call the preacher who stands squarely upon the teaching of Christ and his apostles narrow, harsh, cruel.” then he said, ”as to being narrow, I have no desire to any broader than was Jesus. As to being cruel, is it cruel to tell a man the truth? Is a man to be called cruel who declares the whole counsel of God and points out to men their danger? Is it cruel to arouse sleeping people to the fact that the house is on fire? Is it cruel to jerk a blind man away from the rattlesnake in the coil? Is it cruel to declare to people the deadliness of disease and tell them which medicine to take?” and then dr. Lee said this; he said, ”I had rather be called cruel for being kind, than to be called kind for being cruel.”

The cruelest thing a man could do would be to fail to warn people about what the bible has to say about hell. To speak sneeringly, disparagingly about a preacher who believes in hell, to ridicule a preacher who warns of hell would be the same as to ridicule a doctor who warns of cancer. It’s not a pleasant subject, but it is a fact. And I’m going to tell you, dear friend, that the idea of hell is ridiculed today. And, I know why it is ridiculed today, because people don’t like the idea and they try to laugh it away. You can laugh your way into hell, but you can’t laugh your way out once you’re there.

SECOND, 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 and a person can investigate some evidence that the Bible is accurate at this link.

THIRD, without God in the picture everything is permitted. Woody Allen demonstrated this brilliantly in his 1989 film CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. I bring this up because I read this below:

  • “All is lawful.”
    – Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  • “Viper will eat viper, and it would serve them both right!”
    – Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  • “If you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of the world would at once be dried up. Moreover, nothing then would be immoral; everything would be lawful, even cannibalism.”
    – Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“Scientists may not believe in God, but they should be taught why they ought to behave as if they did.”(9)

Max Perutz, with a Nobel prize in chemistry, made this statement several years ago in response to critical remarks about Cambridge University establishing a Lectureship in Theology and Natural Science. Richard Dawkins, outspoken biologist and atheist, could barely contain himself in an editorial letter about the same lectureship: “The achievements of theologians don’t do anything, don’t affect anything, don’t achieve anything. What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all?”(10)

Julian Huxley evidently agreed with Perutz because Huxley also wrote, “God does not in fact exist, but act as if He does!” Woody Allen addressed the same point in his movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS and I have written this same subject over and over and over  again on this blog.

Francis Schaeffer’s comments on Huxley’s quote:

Relieving the Tension in the West

In  both the East and the West, however, there are attempts to relieve the tension of seeming to be nothing, while in fact being something very real – a person in a real world which has a definite form. On the materialist side, Sir Julian Huxley (1887-1975) has clarified the dilemma by acknowledging, though he was an atheist, that somehow or other – against all that one might expect – a person functions better if he acts as though God exists. “So,” the argument goes, “God does not in fact exist, but act as if He does!” As observed by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) in The Wild Duck: “Rob the average man of his life-illusion, and you rob him of his happiness at the same stroke.” In other words, according to Huxley, you can function properly only if you live your whole life upon a lie. You act as if God exists, which to the materialist is false. At first this sounds like a feasible solution for relieving the tension produced by a materialist world-view. However, a moment’s reflection shows what a terrible solution it is. You will find no deeper despair than this for a sensitive person. This is no optimistic, happy, reasonable, brilliant answer. It is darkness and death.
Another way the tension is relieved is through the theory of evolution, the idea that by chance there is an increasing advance. People are given an impression of progress – up from the primeval slime and the amoeba, up through the evolutionary chain, with life developing by chance from the simple carbon molecule to the complex, right up to the pinnacle, mankind.
This is not the place to discuss evolutionary theory, but it surprises us how readily people accept it, even on the scientific side, as if it had no problems. There are problems, even if these are not commonly realized or discussed.89 The primary point we are interested in, however, is not evolution itself but the illusion of “progress” which has been granted by it. By chance, this amazing complexity called “man” has been generated out of the slime. So, of course, there is progress! By this argument people are led into imagining that the whole of reality does have purpose even if, as we have said, there is no way that it really can have purpose within the humanistic world-view.
Evolution makes men and women feel superior and at the top of the pile, but in the materialistic framework, the whole of reality is meaningless; the concept of “higher” means nothing. Even if, within the humanist world-view, people are more complex than plants and animals, both “higher” and “lower” have no meanings. We are left with everything being sad and absurd.
Thus, the concept of progress is an illusion. Only some form of mystical jump will allow us to accept that personality comes from impersonality.90 No one has offered to explain, let alone demonstrate it to be feasible, how the impersonal plus time plus chance can give personality. We are distracted by a flourish of words – and, lo, personality has appeared out of a hat.
Imagine a universe made up of only liquids and solids, one containing no free gases. A fish is swimming in this universe. This fish, quite naturally, is conformed to its environment so that it is able to exist quite happily. Let us suppose, then, that by blind chance (as the evolutionists would have us believe) this fish developed lungs as it continued swimming in this universe without any gases. The fish would no longer be able to function and to fulfill its position as a fish. Would it then be “higher” or “lower” in its new state with lungs? Obviously it would be lower, for it would drown.
In the same way, if a person has been kicked up from the impersonal by chance, those things that make him a person – hope of purpose and significance, love, notions of morality and rationality and beauty – are ultimately unfulfillable and are thus meaningless. In such a situation, is man higher or lower? Mankind would then be the lowest creature on the scale, the least conforming to what reality is. Thus we see how hopeless is the illusion of meaning or purpose as derived from evolutionary thought.

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Why Woody Allen’s movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS blows Perutz and Huxley comments out of the water!!!

DISCUSSING FILMS AND SPIRITUAL MATTERS
By Everette Hatcher III

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later, Colson noted that discussing the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with King presented the perfect opportunity to tell him about Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Colson believes the Lord is working on Larry King. How about your neighbors? Is there a way you can use a movie to find common ground with your lost friends and then talk to them about spiritual matters?

(Caution: CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS is rated PG-13. It does include some adult themes.)

Adrian Rogers is pictured below and Francis Schaeffer above.

Watching the film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? in 1979 impacted my life greatly

Francis Schaeffer in the film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

 

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On May 15, 1994 on the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer I attempted to send a letter to almost every living Nobel Prize winner and I believe  Dr. Max Perutz was probably among that group and here is a portion of that letter below:

I have enclosed a cassette tape by Adrian Rogers and it includes  a story about  Charles Darwin‘s journey from  the position of theistic evolution to agnosticism. Here are the four bridges that Adrian Rogers says evolutionists can’t cross in the CD  “Four Bridges that the Evolutionist Cannot Cross.” 1. The Origin of Life and the law of biogenesis. 2. The Fixity of the Species. 3.The Second Law of Thermodynamics. 4. The Non-Physical Properties Found in Creation.  

Evolution Fact of Fiction Adrian Rogers (same message I put on cassette tape back in 1994)

Uploaded on Nov 13, 2011

The Theory of Evolution Destroyed!!

In the first 3 minutes of the cassette tape is the hit song “Dust in the Wind.” Below I have given you some key points  Francis Schaeffer makes about the experiment that Solomon undertakes in the book of Ecclesiastes to find satisfaction by  looking into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

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.”

Here the first 7 verses of Ecclesiastes followed by Schaeffer’s commentary on it:

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.  

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.

Solomon doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is in the cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age.

There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man (at the age of 18 in 1930). 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. 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.

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Schaeffer noted that Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else under the sun:  The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant  or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.  Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1; “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—
    and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—  and they have no comforter.” 7:15 “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness,  and the wicked living long in their wickedness. ).
  4. 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).
  5. There is no ultimate lasting meaning in life. (1:2)

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 in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ 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.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

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. In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had and that “all was meaningless UNDER THE SUN,” and looking ABOVE THE SUN was the only option.  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.

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.  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.

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