Tag Archives: artist Mike Kelley

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 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

프란시스 쉐퍼 – 그러면 우리는 어떻게 살 것인가 introduction (Episode 1)

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

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

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

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

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

[ARTS 410] William Dyrness: The Relationship of Art and Theology

Published on Sep 14, 2013

Guest lecture in ARTS 410: Arts and the Bible.

At the 30:00 mark William Dyrness talks about studying under Rookmaaker.

 

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Hans Rookmaaker in discussion with students pictured above.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Schaeffer and Rookmaaker complemented each other in an extraordinary way that affected the actual lives of many people for much good! David Bruce Hegeman noted in

Comment Magazine in the article,

Clashing Cultures: Christian Art vs. Secular Art

The Importance of Hans Rookmaaker,

In Art and in the Life of Francis Schaeffer, 

November 2004 – V. 22 I. 9:

This meeting between Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rookmaaker was to have a profound impact on the history of the modern evangelical church… Schaeffer probed the younger art history student on the meaning of modern art, and the two of them pondered together the impact that post-Christian ideas and values had on European art and culture. Schaeffer already had an interest in culture and had begun visiting art museums after arriving in Europe. Rookmaaker might have been the first Christian Schaeffer had ever met who had seriously studied contemporary art and had the philosophical tools (via Dooyeweerd and his reading of philosophy in prison camp) to analyze and critique the arts from a biblical perspective. It turned out they both had a strong common interest in the relationship between art and Christianity and immediately became close, lifelong friends. Later, after Schaeffer had established L’Abri in the village of Humoz, Switzerland in 1955, Rookmaaker was a frequent visitor and lecturer to the Swiss community. Hans and Anky opened a Dutch branch of L’Abri in 1971.

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Laurel Gasque did a great job going into more detail about their relationship in the following article:

Hans Rookmaaker and Francis Schaeffer

Laurel Gasque is the Associate Editor of ArtWay and the author of Art and the Christian Mind: The Life and Work of H.R. Rookmaaker. She is also sessional lecturer in theology and the arts at Regent College, Vancouver, B.C. and adjunct professor of art history at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., Canada.

A European Continental reading of Rookmaaker is needed.So much of what has been written about him offers an American perspective on a person whose thinking was formed outside of American culture, even to some degree outside of Western culture since Rookmaaker’s formative years were spent in the Dutch East Indies.

This, together with a tendency to associate Rookmaaker with theological and philosophical thinkers, has masked his unique voice as an art critic and art historian informed by a Christian perspective.  Co-opting him to a specific theological perspective is not helpful for understanding his thinking, the dialogue between art and faith or the wider world of art today.  Rookmaaker needs to be seen in his own right.  In his time he was not separated from the world of the art that he talked about as are most of those who comment on him today.

The Calvinist thinkers he is attached to, such as Francis Schaeffer and Calvin Seerveld, had a different background.  Schaeffer was very much an American, though he lived the better part of his adult life in Europe.  Seerveld, though American, has lived in Canada for decades.  Providentially, Seerveld’s immigrant family gave him the gift of speaking Dutch and becoming multilingual. Schaeffer was monolingual, despite his living in Switzerland.  Rookmaaker was multilingual, something that has escaped his Anglophone critics, who have barely read his Complete Works translated into English for their convenience.

Schaeffer and Rookmaaker met in 1948 through Rookmaaker’s fiancée, Anky Huitker, who arranged a meeting for Hans with Schaeffer when he was in Amsterdam to help convene a meeting of the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC), a Fundamentalist response to the establishment of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Rookmaaker was ten years younger than Schaeffer, still a graduate student.  There is no doubt that his meeting with Schaeffer had an enormous impact on both of their lives. Their first encounter started with what was to be a half-hour long conversation that was supposed to help Rookmaaker learn about black music in America. (It is doubtful that Schaeffer knew a thing about this subject!)  Their discussion ended at 4:00 AM! To his credit, it seems that Schaeffer listened to this young man and thus received his first lesson in the history of jazz, blues and spirituals, but also in modern art as well.

There was definitely a meeting of minds as the two men entered into what was to become a life-long friendship, but this was not a systematic, symbiotic way of thinking that led to a joint intellectual project between the two men.  Rookmaaker, in fact, became Schaeffer’s tutor in art.  Again, to Schaeffer’s credit, he listened as best he could.  But he was already formed by both the American Christian Fundamentalism of Carl McIntire as well as the philosophical apologetics of Cornelius van Til, his teacher at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

There is no doubt that Rookmaaker appreciated having an older friend who opened him to a wider world of English speakers.  But he always remained his own man. The bond between Rookmaaker and Schaeffer was deep.  However, they were quite different from each other.  Heartfelt friendship does not necessarily mean total agreement, even when deep values and beliefs are held in common.  We see this, for example, in the profound friendship of C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield.

Schaeffer was an American evangelist with a Fundamentalist formation who was also an intellectual. Rookmaaker was a European intellectual with a Reformed formation who was in his own way an evangelist. Artists and art students came to faith after many of his lectures.  Rookmaaker was certainly not trying to recruit converts, but his presentations were convincing.  Schaeffer and Rookmaaker complemented each other in an extraordinary way that affected the actual lives of many people for much good.

Intellectually, they must be considered independently from each other in order to appreciate and to appropriate the direction in which Rookmaaker was heading. He was not the rationalist that Schaeffer tended to be.  Before Rookmaaker died in 1977 he had some Schaefferites worried about the direction of his thinking.  He was grounded and thinking on a number of fronts.  He was not afraid to go where many now associated with post-modernism are in their critique of modernity.  He equally espoused art creation by Christians in the contemporary world without any kind of control or constrictions on style.  To that end he mentored artists and cared lovingly for his art historian students, even when they did not understand clearly his formation, direction and mission.

The personal bond of friendship between Schaeffer and Rookmaaker must remain intact, but the intellectual trajectories of the two men must be separated in order to have a clearer idea of who Rookmaaker really was and what he actually thought and achieved.

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Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaeffer—who always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their livesFrancis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

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

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

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I am featuring the late Mike Kelley today. Kelley’s art made me think of these quotes from Schaeffer:

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

(Francis Schaeffer, Art and the Bible)

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When speaking of John Cage and Marcel Duchamp (Duchamp was a big influence on Kelley):

“Art as anti-art when it is mere intellectual statement, divorced from reality of who people are and the fullness of what the universe is.”

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Francis Schaeffer in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? noted:

But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must ‘leap upstairs’ against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to
do so they have to deny their reason.” [page3 182]

This quote from Schaeffer also made me wish that Mike Kelley would have had the opportunity to see this video by Dr. Craig because it talks about those like Kelley who think the world is the result of time plus matter plus chance and how life is just absurd without God in the picture.

The Absurdity of Life Without God (William Lane Craig)

Uploaded on Sep 11, 2011

http://reasonablefaith.org – Is life any good or meaningful without the existence of God? Can man have any real value if atheism is true? Does God and Christianity serve as objective meaning to life? Dr. William Lane Craig answers some of these question in this important lecture.

Article: http://www.bethinking.org/suffering/t…

Interview: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list…

Atheism and the meaning of life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ti133…

Nihilism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cWLvp…

Is moral relativism livable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd5O0c…

Can science determine morality and ethics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45mU5U…

Failure: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list…

We welcome your comments in the Reasonable Faith forums:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/

Follow Reasonable Faith On Twitter: http://twitter.com/rfupdates

Add Reasonable Faith On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reasonablefai…

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From Architectural Digest:

Ahh...Youth!, Mike Kelley

Ahh…Youth!, Mike Kelley, 1991.
Image courtesy of Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts

Mike Kelley (1954-2012) – A Tribute

Published on Nov 18, 2013

Called one of the most significant artists of his generation, Stamps graduate Mike Kelley was an iconoclast who introduced a distinctive Detroit sensibility to the international art world with his references to everything from Soupy Sales to the Vernor’s gnome. He was a founding member of Destroy All Monsters, a collective formed in Ann Arbor in 1974 with artists Jim Shaw, Niagara and Cary Loren. A major retrospective of his work opened at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 2012, at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 2013 and will travel to MOMA PS1, NY in October 2013 and MOCA Los Angeles in 2014. Before his death in 2012, Kelley had begun work based on a life-sized replica of his childhood suburban Detroit home. The new ‘homestead’ has been relocated to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD).

Cary Loren, founding member of Destroy All Monsters, and Mary Clare Stevens, the Executive Director of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts and longtime Kelley friend and studio manager will speak. Their presentations will be followed by the screening of two videos documenting the homestead’s journey from downtown Detroit to Kelley’s former home in Westland, and back again.
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Mike Kelley, R.I.P.

Posted by 

Eric and I were very saddened today to learn of the death of Mike Kelley. Formerly of the band Destroy All Monsters (in the earlier, more experimental phases), Mike tried his hand in many disciplines – visual art, performance, experimental music. At the time of this writing, it’s been noted that his death (at age 57) seems to have been a suicide, Faux News suggests due to a breakup, but this doesn’t seem to be backed by any other sources I’ve seen among art blogs or sites, or more likely, people in the art world who knew him and had been in communication with him more recently.

It seems fortuitous that for Winter Solstice I’d given Eric the book collecting art from the early Destroy All Monsters zines. At the time I felt that way because there were only a limited number of these books printed and I’d managed to snag the last copy at St. Mark’s Bookstore. This adds an extra specialness to it. 

This is a page scanned from from said book, many of these collages were collaborative with the members of Destroy All Monsters, so it’s hard to say which elements are specifically Mike.

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AN ARTIST WITH ATTITUDE

Published on Dec 26, 2012

INTRO

The deceased LA-based artist, Mike Kelley, is one of the leading voices in contemporary culture in the US and Europe.

It’s been almost a year that Mike Kelley passed away, but those works left behind hasn’t been forgotten, the public get inspired from this artist with attitude.

Recently, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam presented its first major international traveling exhibition.

The museum features Mike Kelley, an artist who suddenly died in the beginning of 2012 and who is internationally regarded as one of the most influential modern artists.

SOUNDBITE(Dutch): CLAIRE VAN DE ELS, Curator
“The Mike Kelley exhibition shows around 200 his works. When you enter the exhibition the first thing you will see is a couple of banners that he has made, which is work from the late eighties. Then you enter a big space where a plaid is spread out on the floor. This work is called Lumpenprole. The next hall is called Half a man. That is a famous installation he has made between 1987 and 1992 in where we can see different sorts of textiles, under which his iconic tapestry that is made from teddy bears and in front of the tapestry you can see a table with candles. In this work Kelley has tried to connect the innocence of the bears with sin.” 

Mike Kelley’ s sudden death in the beginning of 2012, came as a shock for many of artists and his friends.

SOUNDBITE(English): ANN GOLDSTEIN, Art Director
“This exhibition was initiated with Mike’ s involvement. It has been in progress for many years. And it has been his sudden and tragic death in the beginning of this year was absolutely devastating for everyone and his absence is very profound, but the work speaks loud and clear. And as much as we miss him, this is the fact we are dealing with. The exhibition suddenly became a retrospective in all senses of the word and his presence is very much felt for those who knew and loved him. And for those who encounter his work for the first time I think they have a great opportunity for a baseline experience into the remarkably world, the remarkable cosmology that he has built with his work.”

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Mike Kelley pictured below:

Mike Kelley: “Day Is Done” | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Apr 30, 2010

Episode #104: Mike Kelley reveals how photographs from yearbooks and newspapers in Detroit served as the inspiration behind the performative project “Day Is Done,” shown installed at Gagosian Gallery.

Learn more about Mike Kelley: http://www.art21.org/artists/mike-kelley

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Nancy Schreiber & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Tom Bergin & Stacy Hruby. Editor: Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: Mike Kelley. Special Thanks: Gagosian Gallery, New York.

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The artist Max Estenger wrote on his blog:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Loose Ends: Mike Kelley & Trulee Grace Hall

The young woman who reportedly caused Mike Kelley much anguish in his final months posted this on Facebook today. Takeaway line: “I had to leave him in order to protect myself, I hope you all will try to understand and forgive me.”   

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Mike Kelley (1954-2012) and Thomas Kinkade (1958-2012) Have Gone Home

Kelley was an introvert saw repression as the enemy of sanity. He sought out and even embraced life’s darkness; a Poet Apostate who criticized “normative” values, systems of authority and consumer culture. As critics have pointed out his early use of stuffed animals was intended to “drive a wedge between sentimentality and childhood.” His savage critiques appealed to the jaded appetites of some of the art world’s leading collectors.

Kinkade and Kelley were the yin and yang of American art, one favored by conservative “red” America, the other by “blue.” Kinkade’s work was sold in shopping malls, at the Disney Store and on eBay, while Kelley’s was shown in elite galleries and contemporary art museums.

Yet, despite their differences, they both had a deep interest in the same subject matter: the revisiting of their childhood traumas as portrayed in the image of “home.”

Before his death by suicide in early February, Kelley was working on “Mobile Homeland,” an installation that was intended to recreate his childhood home in Detroit. In his final interview Kelly told Tulsa Kinney of Artillery Magazine that the subject was …” almost too fraught with psychology and dysfunction…things that could easily feel like an emotional burden.”

Home, as seen through a child’s eyes, was a subject that Kelley had dealt with before. In his 1995 installation “We Communicate” Kelly wrote texts for a set of children’s paintings that commented on the psychological underpinnings of each image. One of his commentaries says quite a bit about what he thought a painted image of a house could communicate:

“The house is a crudely scrawled heap surrounded by dark messy slashes of color. The surrounding shading produces an atmosphere that screams with anxiety. No German Expressionist has depicted the black torture of the soul better. Although Elaine is obviously an unhappy child, she is, at least, able to express this state of mind openly and need not hide behind the mask of socialization. She need not pretend to be a ‘good girl.’ The adult world of rules and order, symbolized by the house, is sinking back into an infantile fecal mound that Elaine has the capacity to control.”

Clearly, what Kelley had to say about the child’s way of coping — she was in control because she didn’t repress or pretend — is also an manifesto of his own social and personal ethos. “His subversive critique,” wrote George Melrod after Kelley’s death, “was not just aimed outward toward society at large, but seemingly inward at himself.”

By contrast, one of Kinkade’s signature images, “The Christmas Cottage,” is a sentimentalized image of the artist’s childhood home; Kinkade reportedly launched his artistic career to save it after he learned that his mother could no longer afford the mortgage. It has been stated that one in twenty homes in America is decorated with some kind of Kinkade print. You have to wonder: how many homes had “The Christmas Cottage” hanging over the fireplace when Countrywide posted the foreclosure papers on the front door?

The cottage, which glows as if it had swallowed the Star of Bethlehem, exudes a luminescent fairy tale vibe that Kinkade used as his shield against his life’s disappointments. By painting fairy tales, Kinkade was attempting to achieve what Bruno Bettelheim posited was a “…happy outcome, which the child cannot imagine on his own.” Kelley would have called Kinkade’s approach “denial.” Indeed, Kinkade expertly sugar-coated the subject matter of every one of his mass-reproduced images. No wonder one critic called them “visual Prozac.”

Kinkade reportedly died of “natural causes,” which I assume is a sugar-coating of the actual factors. The artist’s public outbursts — he once reportedly urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim while saying “This one’s for you, Walt.” — and his 2010 arrest for drunk driving suggest that the man’s demons were doing everything they could to burst out.

Kelley, by taking his own life, was characteristically honest. His suicide was his admission of unhappiness, a problem that he had discussed openly in his key works. At the time of his death Kelley was reportedly depressed after a breakup with his girlfriend.

Mike Kelley died “critically acclaimed.” Thomas Kinkade died “popular.” As Leonard Koscianski pointed out on Facebook, they both had their constituencies. They both had considerable public and financial success.

“Mike Kelley,” comments Leonard Koscianski, “made very high priced works that ridiculed middle class sentiment. His works were so expensive that they could never be owned by the middle class he disparaged.” His hanging mixed-media installation, “Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites,” sold at auction for just over $2.7 million dollars in 2006. Kelley, who had once addressed cultural consumerism with a fetishistic phallic candle display called “The Wages of Sin” was represented, at the time of his death, by the world’s most powerful contemporary art dealer, Larry Gagosian.

Kinkade’s art and the product line that grew from it was so successful that his art company was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and at one point had a market capitalization of $350 million (the total value of the stock) based on annual sales of $250 million. Kinkade, who described the art world as “a very small pond…a very inbred pond,” left behind a net worth that is in dispute. One source says “$70 million” another says the artist, who had faced lawsuits by the owners of Kinkade gallery franchises, died “piss-poor.” At the time of his death, Kinkade and his wife Nanette had been separated for more than a year.

Kelley’s bracingly strange and searchingly intellectual art appealed to America’s 1%. Kincade’s hyper-sincerity, and his celebration of Christ, baseball, and glowing cottages made him the favorite artist of America’s 99%. They were two American artists who, in their striking divergence, tell the story of a nation whose center seems ready to tear apart. Stress makes people look for extreme solutions, both in life and art.

Ultimately, both men seem to have suffered in catering to the almost schizophrenically divided tastes of American society. In public they both maintained powerful identities — a bad boy and a good boy — while in private each one got a bit lost trying to find his way “home” to private peace and reconciliation with his childhood experiences. It might be said — in psychoanalytic terms — that both Kelley and Kinkade ultimately failed to sublimate their impulses and idealizations into workable connections with the world.

Let’s hope, for Kinkade’s sake, that he is safely at home in Heaven. It would have to be a light-filled, cotton candy heaven where a compassionate Christ is present. In Kelley’s case, it is tougher to speculate on where his final home might be and who might comfort him. When Tulsa Kinney asked Kelley, during his final interview, if he ever believed in Heaven and Hell, he responded plainly:

‘No. I never believed in anything.’

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To those who have never believed in anything consider placing your faith alone in the Christ who came to earth and lived a perfect life then died for your sins.

Our views below concerning how to go to heaven  (this material is from Campus Crusade for Christ).

Just as there are physical laws that govern

the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws
that govern your relationship with God.

Law 1

God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.

God’s Love
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

God’s Plan
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”
[that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).

Why is it that most people are not experiencing that abundant life?

Because…

Law 2

Man is sinful and separated from God.
Therefore, he cannot know and experience
God’s love and plan for his life.

Man is Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn
self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken.
This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference,
is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

Man Is Separated
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).

Separation This diagram illustrates that God isholy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion
-but he inevitably fails.The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf…

Law 3

Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.
Through Him you can know and experience
God’s love and plan for your life.

He Died In Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

He Rose from the Dead
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… He was raised on the third day,
according to the Scriptures… He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.
After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to
the Father but through Me’” (John 14:6).

Bridge The Gulf This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.It is not enough just to know these three laws…

Law 4

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.

We Must Receive Christ
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children
of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as result of works that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
(Read John 3:1-8.)

We Receive Christ Through Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting
Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be.
Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross
for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.
We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

Circles

Self-Directed Life
S-Self is on the throne
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is outside the life
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by self, often
resulting in discord and frustration
Christ-Directed Life
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is in the life and on the throne
S-Self is yielding to Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan

Which circle best represents your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?


The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You Can Receive Christ Right Now by Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is talking with God)

God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude
of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.
Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this
prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

Now that you have received Christ

On this web site:
Copyrighted 2007 by Bright Media Foundation and Campus Crusade for Christ.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

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Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation 27 min I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

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

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

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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)

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

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

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

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Published on Dec 18, 2012

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

 

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer examines the Age of Non-Reason and he mentions the work of Paul Gauguin.

paul gauguin march 1891 ,

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

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin was born in Paris, France, on June 7, 1848, to a French father, a journalist from Orléans, and a mother of Spanish Peruvian descent. When Paul was three his parents sailed for Lima, Peru, after the victory of Louis Napoleon (1769–1821). His father died during the trip. Gauguin and his mother remained in Lima for four years. There the young Gauguin lived a comfortable life. Gauguin then returned to Orléans, and eventually found his way back to Paris.

Below is from an article by Brian Thomas and is based on Francis Schaeffer’s film series “How should we then live?” In this article you will see some of the thoughts that the artist Paul Gauguin had before deciding to attempt to commit suicide.

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Gauguin as an artist strived to give his work a more human touch, expressing feelings and knowledge and human reactions to the realities of life, while at the same time freeing himself as an artist to express color and design boldly, overcoming the narrowness of merely copying what the eye can register as the Impressionists painted. In an attempt to obtain his goal of “regaining humanity,” as he called it, he moved to Tahiti in 1891. It was here that he painted his greatest work in 1897: Whence? What? Whither?

During the course of 1897 Gauguin referred increasingly to his own death, alluding to suicide in letters and his journal. In the autumn he noted that “The artist dies, his heirs make a grab for his works, sort out the copyright, his estate, and whatever else there might be to do. Now he has been stripped to the bone. I think about these things, and am going to strip myself first: it gives me a sense of relief.”

As Gauguin contemplated taking his own life he set out to create a painting that would leave a lasting legacy of his faith, worldview, artistic insight and intentions by asking three metaphysical questions: Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going?


In a letter to friend Daniel de Monfreid, he describes the painting as a “philosophical work” which could be compared to the Gospels. We must read the work, he said, from right to left and interprets it as such:

“In the bottom right-hand corner there is a sleeping child, then three covering women. Two figures dressed in purple are deep in conversation. A crouching figure, which defies perspective, and is meant to do so, looks very large. This figure is raising its arm and looking in astonishment at the two women who dare to think about their own fate. The central figure is picking fruit from a tree. Two cats by a child…a white goat. The idol is raising both its arms with rhythmic energy and seems to be pointing to somewhere beyond here. A covering girl appears to be listening to the idol. An old woman, close to the end of life, completes the circle. She is ready to accept her fate. At her feet a strange, white bird with a lizard in its talons symbolizes the futility of empty words…”

Where do we come from? A baby lies next to some young women as the source of life. What are we? A woman stands reaching for the apple, a probable reference to Eve in the garden and man’s fall into sin and ruin. Where are we going? From right to left we see the process of ageing taking place culminating in an old woman, “ready to accept her fate.” Art historian H.R. Rookmaaker suggests that in the background “mysterious figures, in sad colors, standing near the tree of knowledge, are sad as a result of that knowledge.”

It is interesting to note that a few days after completing this work, Gauguin went off into the woods and swallowed a large amount of arsenic. But his body rejected it and he was unable to keep the poison down.

I give this example to show how form and content can beautifully integrate in such a way as to make the work a more powerful vehicle of expression. It should be obvious to the reader by now that I do not share Gauguin’s unfortunate outlook on life, but as an artist and a Christian, I appreciate the thought and purpose behind his masterpiece. Both the aesthetic quality and intellectual content marry to form an important and thought-provoking piece of art. The creators of the religious kitsch that line the shelves at your local happy Christian bookstore could learn much from the serious attention Gauguin put into his work.

As Schaeffer was quick to warn, we should not judge art by this criterion alone, but view all works of art by its technique, validity, worldview, and suiting of form to content to gain a deeper understanding, appreciation, and true evaluation.

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If we live in a futile existence is our only logical choice a suicide attempt? It seems that more and more artists are telling us that we live in a chance universe and there is no future for us. Didn’t Jackson Pollock also attempt to display that?(This can be seen clearly in episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” in How Should we then live?) How do secular people answer these 3 questions:  Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going?

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

Film: Play It Again, Sam (1972)

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

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Woody Allen in Play It Again Sam

Uploaded on May 20, 2009

Scene from ‘Play it Again Sam’ (1972)

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

Museum Girl: Yes, it is.

Allan: What does it say to you?

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

Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?

Museum Girl: Committing suicide.

Allan: What about Friday night?

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Guardians of the Secret

1943

painting | oil on canvas

The SFMOMA building is closed for expansion. Many of the works in our collection are on view at other institutions as part of our On the Go program.
  • Guardians of the Secret

    Jackson Pollock, Guardians of the Secret, 1943; oil on canvas, 48 3/8 in. x 75 3/8 in. (122.89 cm x 191.47 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Albert M. Bender Collection, Albert M. Bender Bequest Fund purchase; © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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I have spent a lot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative. Over and over Woody Allen has answered these 3 questions in his films: Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going?

Woody Allen has said on several occasions that he laughs at his fate when he truly feels like crying. In the film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE episode “The Age of Non Reason ”  we see modern humanist man act on his belief that we live in a closed system that was produced by chance with no God. Therefore, man’s only alternative is to look to chance and non reason for our search for meaning in life and for moral guidance. Schaeffer rightly points out that without the hope of finding the answer to moral questions or a hope of purpose, secular man turned to the area of non reason and he opens this episode with a discussion on Paul Gauguin and his attempt at suicide. Below is an article by Mark Beuving that quotes from Schaeffer’s “Age of Non reason” episode.

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

What Art Can’t Do

Mark Beuving —  January 24, 2012
Leonardo Da Vinci was brilliant. And not just in one area. He showed great skill in chemistry, music, architecture, anatomy, engineering, etc. Yet as he explored the world in an effort to find meaning, he realized that meaning would not be discovered through the sciences. You simply cannot begin with the individual things of this world and derive meaning through examining them. (This is a concept I explored in a previous post: What Science Can’t Do.)Realizing that finding meaning through science was futile, Da Vinci set out to find it through art. He had hopes of painting the soul or essence of man. Of course he failed. But Da Vinci is not alone in thinking that meaning can be found through the arts. If we can’t find meaning through the sciences, perhaps the poets, painters, and musicians of this world can point us toward the meaning of life.

Whence Come We? What Are We? Whither Do We Go? by Paul Gauguin (1897-1898)The French painter Paul Gauguin’s search for meaning culminated in his paintingWhence Come We? What Are We? Whither Do We Go? (1897-1898). But as we know, these important questions could not be answered through art. He writes about the painting:

“Whither? Close to the death of an old woman, a strange stupid bird concludes: What? O sorrow, thou art my master. Fate how cruel thou art, and always vanquished. I revolt.” (Cited by Francis Schaeffer in How Should We Then Live?)

Meaning is elusive, but only if we are looking for it in the wrong places.

Meaning is closely related to art. There is an important link between the two. Art is mankind’s constant wrestling with meaning. We find our existence and experience with the world intriguing, so we create works of art—works that go beyond propositions and rationality—in an attempt to identify and record the significance of life.

Art wrestles with meaning and can be a powerful means of communicating meaning. In fact, much of God’s revelation to us in the Bible is encapsulated in beautiful and complex forms of literary art. But art alone can never create meaning. It can present it, challenge it, illuminate it, etc., but art can never produce the meaning we are searching for. Many artists over the years have looked to their art to give them meaning. Some have thought that the meaning won’t be found in the artistic objects themselves, but in the very process of creating art. Either way, art simply cannot do what these romantic minds have hoped it would.

We misuse art when we try to pull ultimate meaning out of it. The best art is a response to the meaning that has been discovered in God, in the world, and in the human experience. Art carries and conveys meaning, but it will never be the source of meaning.

Though we seek substitutes all the time, God alone is the source of meaning. And once we find meaning in Him, we can explore that meaning in powerful ways through the art we create.

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

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I want to take a look at the life of the artist Mike Kelley and his atheist belief system. Then I want to explore what hard rock bands have to say about the issue of suicide. This is because Mike came out of the  hard rock band DESTROY ALL MONSTERS   (with the members  Niagara, Cary Loren,  Jim Shaw,  Larry Miller, Ben Miller, Mike Powers,Ron Asheton,and  Michael Davis, and he was associated with other rock bands such as Sproton Layer,  The Stooges, and MC5). Furthermore, I want to take a look at the issue of suicide and what some of the causes of suicide are. Could have Mike’s atheistic point of view contributed to his suicide? Maybe we can learn from it and help other young people to turn from considering suicide. I believe that putting a lasting hope in people’s lives can help accomplish that objective. We need positive answers to these 3 questions:Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going?

“I see a lot of things that seem to be nostalgic for the old avant-garde, like redoing of works that have already been done, and I don’t know if it’s trying to go back to those values or if it’s simple laziness. It’s like with contemporary music—I hear a lot of things that sound like I’ve heard them before. It’s almost like, ‘Well, what’s the voice of this generation?’ Maybe there isn’t one.”–MK

Bored – Destroy all Monsters

Uploaded on Oct 15, 2008

Oldschool! m/

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Destroy all Monsters – Child of the Night

Uploaded on Sep 10, 2011

1974-1976

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Mike Kelley taking part in his three short dance/performance pieces for Performa 09 known as “Day Is Done Judson Church Dance.” (photos by the author)

Mike Kelley: Bad Boy | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Aug 6, 2010

Episode #117: Mike Kelley sets the record straight about being called a “bad boy” throughout his career, describing the shifting tastes of critics and artists towards abject art in recent years.

Mike Kelley’s work ranges from highly symbolic and ritualistic performance pieces, to arrangements of stuffed-animal sculptures, to wall-sized drawings, to multi-room installations that restage institutional environments (schools, offices, zoos), to extended collaborations with artists such as Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler, and the band Sonic Youth. His work questions the legitimacy of ‘normative’ values and systems of authority, and attacks the sanctity of cultural attitudes toward family, religion, sexuality, art history, and education. He also comments on and undermines the legitimacy of the concept of victim or trauma culture, which posits that almost all behavior results from some form of repressed abuse. Kelley’s aesthetic mines the rich and often overlooked history of vernacular art in America, and his practice borrows heavily from the confrontational, politically conscious “by all means necessary” attitude of punk music.

Learn more about Mike Kelley: http://www.art21.org/artists/mike-kelley

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Norbert Arnsteiner & Nancy Schreiber. Sound: Stacy Hruby & Ullrich Vlasak. Editor: Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: Mike Kelley. Special Thanks: MUMOK, Vienna.

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“105 Minutes with Mike” : Mike Kelley Interview (Full) 2004

Published on Feb 1, 2013

Artist Mike Kelley. 1954-2012. Art, politics, Dali, New York art scene, Koons, reading from print work and more. Interviewed by Gerry Fialka. Filmed by Eli Elliott. 2004. Uploaded Feb. 1. 2012.

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In the above video Mike Kelley notes at the 46:40 mark  “Art making is making your sickness everyone else’s  sickness. I don’t buy the delusion that art is a curative process. I think art is an analytical process. You can choose to use it for healthy purposes or you do not... I don’t think art every cures you. It just makes you aware of the problems you have.” In an interview with John Welchman (at the 1:16:45 mark in the video below), Mike Kelley stated, “I am a Marxist and a materialist.” Since Mike comes to the table with a materialistic worldview that rejects the notion that humans were put on this world for any purpose in their lives then he did not believe they had any hope for an afterlife and also he could not find any final  answers to the problems that face humankind? Kelley said in the interview (at 1:37:10 mark in the video below) with Welchman, “I am not a believer in any kind of religion.”
In the above video at 7:30 mark Mike Kelley says that Zappa was the best besides John Cage. John Cage attempted to put forth music that was a result of chance and you can see at the 13:20 mark that Kelley said we are creative because of Darwinism luck and he didn’t think there was a reason besides that. Ironically he seems to contradict himself at the 18:30 mark when he says that creativity may be a sign of our humanity.
Many that accept that all there is to this world is chance and matter have turned to drugs as a leap into the area of non-reason and notice at the 24:00 mark in the above video that Kelley comments that if you stay on LSD all the time you will be screwed up all the time and you have to come back to reality sometime.

Mike Kelley with John Welchman

Pioneering Artist Mike Kelley Dies at 57

Over four decades, through bands, writing and his art, Kelley altered the course of contemporary art

By Andrew Russeth and Dan Duray 2/01/12 1:29pm

kelley portrait Pioneering Artist Mike Kelley Dies at 57

Mike Kelley.

Mike Kelley, one of the most critically acclaimed artists of his generation, has died at the age of 57, at his home in South Pasadena, Calif. According to several sources close to the artist that Gallerist has spoken with, the cause of death was suicide.

The artist had recently been selected for the 2012 Whitney Biennial, an exhibition that he has participated in seven times in the past. He has had major one-person exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Louvre, MUMOK, Vienna, and numerous other museums.

> Click to see images of Kelley’s art.

A sergeant in the South Pasadena police department told Gallerist that officers responded to the apparent suicide following a 911 call made at 7:47 p.m. by a friend who had stopped by Kelley’s house to check up on him. The friend hadn’t heard from Kelley since Sunday and, unable to gain entry to the home, called the police. Kelley was pronounced dead on the scene. Though police records show no mention of a note, officers said the friend who called 911 mentioned that Kelley had been depressed following a September break-up.

Kelley was born in 1954 in Detroit (he described himself as a “blue-collar anarchist”), and his childhood there provided material for many of his works. In 2010, he produced a sculpture modeled on his childhood home and carted it around the city on the back of a flatbed truck, for a special project with the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

In 1974, he founded the band Destroy All Monsters with Cary Loren, Niagara (Loren’s then-girlfriend) and Jim Shaw. They made noisy, feedback-drenched music that was influenced by the other local bands at the time, The Stooges and the MC5. Destroy All Monsters was recently the subject of two retrospectives, at the Prism Gallery in Los Angeles and at the Boston University Art Gallery. Kelley left the band in 1976, to attend graduate school at CalArts.

One of his earliest installations, The Little Girl’s Room (1980), is up now in the “Under the Big Black Sun” exhibition of California art at The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LA MoCA), organized by Paul Schimmel, the museum’s chief curator. The piece is based on a performance script centered around a child’s dream-within-a-dream in which the child imagines “the face of a pimp-like man whose smile reveals an infinity of sharp teeth.”

“I could go to Mike about a subject dealing with American art at the beginning of the century or whenever and he would know so much you would wonder if there was anything he doesn’t know,” Mr. Schimmel, who met Kelley in 1981, told Gallerist. “I think Mike is arguably the key individual who changed the world’s perception of Los Angeles art.”

Kelley’s studio released a statement this afternoon saying, “Mike was an irresistible force in contemporary art…. We cannot believe he is gone. But we know his legacy will continue to touch and challenge anyone who crosses its path. We will miss him. We will keep him with us.”

Correction (4:30 pm): An earlier version of this article stated Mike Kelley’s age as 58. He was 57.

arusseth@observer.com

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Now let’s turn to what hard rock bands have to say about suicide.

Papa Roach – Last Resort (Censored Version)

This concerns the song “The Last Resort.”

Amy Winehouse died a few months ago and it was a tragic loss. That really troubled me that she did not seek spiritual help instead of turning to drugs and alcohol. This post today will give hope to those who feel like it is all hopeless.

Walt Mueller noted, The band’s place in the pop music landscape was established with the release of their breakout single, “Last Resort,” which was quickly picked up by MTV and nominated for a “Best New Artist Video” award at the 2000 Video Music Awards. The song is a gut-wrenching first-person chronicle of hopelessness that’s gone so deep the singer is seriously contemplating suicide.   But the band is adamant about the fact that the song is about fighting to survive by overcoming depression, rather than allowing it to lead to suicide. “It’s not saying I can’t go on living. It’s saying I can’t go on living this way,” says Dick (Spin, 10/00).

I know there are some curse words in the following song. I have eliminated both times the curse word is used. I really think that there needs to be a response to the young people who are saying things like the words in this song Here are some of the words:

Do you even care if I die pleading, Would it be wrong, would it be right, If I took my life tonight, Chances are that I might, and I’m contemplating suicide, ‘Cause I’m losing my sight, losing my mind, Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine, Nothing’s alright, nothing is fine, I’m running and I’m crying, I never realized I was spread too thin, Till it was too late andI was empty within, Hungry, feeding on my chaos and living in sin, Downward spiral, where do i begin, It all started when i lost my mother, No love for myself and no love for another,Searching to find a love upon a higher level, finding nothing but QUESTIONS AND DEVILS, I can’t go on living this way, Cut my life into pieces, This is my last resort.

My response to these words:”Do you even care if I die pleading, Would it be wrong, would it be right, If I took my life tonight, Chances are that I might, and I’m contimplating suicide” is that you should plead to someone who can do something about your situation and that is Christ!!!!

Below David Powlison asserts:

How do you get the living hope that God offers you in Jesus? By asking. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

Suicide operates in a world of death, despair, and aloneness. Jesus Christ creates a world of life, hope, and community. Ask God for help, and keep on asking. Don’t stop asking. You need Him to fill you every day with the hope of the resurrection.

Below is a portion of the article “Papa Roach—Infesting and reflecting youth culture by Walt Mueller. 

Papa Roach’s Music

In a day and age where the walls are crumbling between what had been a variety of distinctive popular music genres, Papa Roach is like many other chart-topping bands whose music combines sounds that were once distinct. Coby Dick’s raspy and throat-wrenching vocals join with music that incorporates sounds of rap, rock, thrash, funk and metal. Listeners familiar with popular music will hear the influence of Faith No More, the band Dick cites as one of his early favorites. Similar contemporary bands include Korn, Limp Bizkit, The Deftones and P.O.D.

Reviewer Tim Kennedy of Spin describes the resulting sound as “an amalgam of below-the-belt guitar riffage, punk-rock urgency, and half-sung, half-rapped vocals (10/00). Rolling Stone’s Anthony Bozza says listening to Papa Roach is “like standing on a precipice—sustained tension and the threat of a tumble” (8/31/00).

The sound combines with Dick’s lyrics in a powerful and emotional blend that addresses the reality of life for kids who have been burned over and over again. Tobin Esperance says, “We write about things that have happened to our singer, specifically, and friends around us. It’s real life stuff. We’re not writing about s___ that we don’t know about, like girls and cars and money … we only know real life bulls___ that happens” (nyrock.com). Coby Dick says of his autobiographical music, “I’m venting my emotions. It’s blunt” (Rolling Stone, 8/31/00). He says “Papa Roach, lyrically, is my counseling” (Billboard,6/10/00). 

Infest (2000)

Papa Roach released the album they now consider their first in April of 2000. The album quickly began to sell as a result of radio and MTV exposure, went gold after two months thanks to scoring with MTV’s Total Request Live audience, and had gone double platinum by September 2000.

Papa Roach offers an introduction to their music, mission, message and intentions on the album’s title cut. After introducing himself to his listeners, Coby Dick informs them his “God-given talent is to rock all the nations.” In this, the band’s “first manifesto,” the group lays out their plan to “infest” the world and young minds (“wrap you in my thoughts”) with an angry musical message of anarchy and rebellion against a messed-up world that’s let them down: “We’re going to infest/We’re getting in your head/What is wrong with the world today/The government, media or your family.” Institutions and people are not to be trusted. In fact, “First they shackle your feet/Then they stand you in a line/Then they beat you like meat/Then they grab you by your mind … people are the problem today.” Dick admits the struggle so many young people feel: “the game of life is crazy.” Alone in this sea of brokenness and hopelessness, Dick asks, “Would you cry if I died today/I think it be better if you did not say.”

The band’s place in the pop music landscape was established with the release of their breakout single, “Last Resort,” which was quickly picked up by MTV and nominated for a “Best New Artist Video” award at the 2000 Video Music Awards. The song is a gut-wrenching first-person chronicle of hopelessness that’s gone so deep the singer is seriously contemplating suicide. (See lyrics on page 7.) The fact that “Last Resort” is part of the mainstream pop music landscape indicates it is connecting with more and more kids who see it as an expression of their own inner struggles. For casual listeners, the song is very confusing. Listening to the song reveals the criticisms claiming the song promotes suicide could certainly be warranted. Kids who are riding the fence because of numerous other problems in their lives could interpret the song in a way that would give them permission to go over the edge, especially if they don’t know the story behind the song. But the band is adamant about the fact that the song is about fighting to survive by overcoming depression, rather than allowing it to lead to suicide. “It’s not saying I can’t go on living. It’s saying I can’t go on living this way,” says Dick (Spin, 10/00). He also says, “Last Resort” has “a positive edge to it, as far as like, ‘Don’t succumb to it. Keep yourself afloat.’ With these problems in your life, find a friend you can confide in” (Sonicnet.com). Based on the band’s resolve to survive like a roach, one would have to take them at their word. The song chronicles the suicide attempt of one of Coby Dick’s former roommates. After his “unsuccessful” attempt, the young man “turned to God” … Dick claims the attempt was what killed the rotting part of his roommate’s soul. The song has definitely connected. “We’ve gotten so many e-mails from people who tell us ‘Last Resort’ saved their lives,” says Dick. “It makes some people feel less alone” (Rolling Stone,8/31/00)…

“Between Angels and Insects” is an insightful rant against American greed and materialism. Dick says he wrote the song to remind himself that the things the band’s success will bring are not the things that make one happy. The lyrics are powerful and excerpts could serve to spark discussion with teens about the false promises of materialism: “Diamond rings get you nothing/But a life-long lesson/And your pocketbook stressin’/You’re a slave to the system/Working jobs that you hate/For s___ that you don’t need/It’s too bad the world is based on greed/Step back and stop thinking ‘bout yourself … ‘cause everything is nothing/And emptiness is in everything … Possessions they are never gonna fill the void … the things you own, own you.” When discussing the message of the song Buckner says, “all the worldly things that people equate with happiness—do they necessarily make you happy? You can have Rolexes and diamond rings and cars and houses … but really the things that make you happy are peace of mind and passion in your life” (Alternative Press, 10/00).

Help for the Suicidal

God offers you true, living hope–not a false hope based on your death.
By David Powlison

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

It’s easy to see the risk factors for suicide—depression, suffering, disillusioning experiences, failure—but there are also ways to get your life back on track by building protective factors into your life.

Ask for help

How do you get the living hope that God offers you in Jesus? By asking. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

Suicide operates in a world of death, despair, and aloneness. Jesus Christ creates a world of life, hope, and community. Ask God for help, and keep on asking. Don’t stop asking. You need Him to fill you every day with the hope of the resurrection.

At the same time you are asking God for help, tell other people about your struggle with hopelessness. God uses His people to bring life, light, and hope. Suicide, by definition, happens when someone is all alone. Getting in relationship with wise, caring people will protect you from despair and acting out of despair.

But what if you are bereaved and alone? If you know Jesus, you still have a family—His family is your family. Become part of a community of other Christians. Look for a church where Jesus is at the center of teaching and worship. Get in relationship with people who can help you, but don’t stop with getting help. Find people to love, serve, and give to. Even if your life has been stripped barren by lost relationships, God can and will fill your life with helpful and healing relationships.

Grow in godly life skills

Another protective factor is to grow in godly living. Many of the reasons for despair come from not living a godly, fruitful life. You need to learn the skills that make godly living possible. What are some of those skills?

  • Conflict resolution. Learn to problem-solve by entering into human difficulties and growing through them. (See Ask the Christian Counselor article, “Fighting the Right Way.”)
  • Seek and grant forgiveness. Hopeless thinking is often the result of guilt and bitterness.
  • Learn to give to others. Suicide is a selfish act. It’s a lie that others will be better off without you. Work to replace your faulty thinking with reaching out to others who are also struggling. Take what you have learned in this article and pass it on to at least one other person. Whatever hope God gives you, give to someone who is struggling with despair.

Live for God

When you live for God, you have genuine meaning in your life. This purpose is far bigger than your suffering, your failures, the death of your dreams, and the disillusionment of your hopes. Living by faith in God for His purposes will protect you from suicidal and despairing thoughts. God wants to use your personality, your skills, your life situation, and even your struggle with despair to bring hope to others.

He has already prepared good works for you to do. Paul says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). As you step into the good works God has prepared for you—you will find that meaning, purpose, and joy.

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Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaeffer—who always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.”To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their livesFrancis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

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

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Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

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