Tag Archives: kerry livgren

HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 2) Letter from 5-14-16

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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

Well, the readers of the book would remember the story of King Solomon, the king who had it all. He had more wisdom than anyone, more wealth, more pleasure (remember he had hundreds of wives and concubines). He was, speaking anachronistically and a bit flippantly, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Hugh Hefner all rolled up into one. But all that wealth, wisdom, and pleasure was not enough for Solomon, who ended his life a sad apostate. The message for the reader of Ecclesiastes, then, is a warning not to live with the illusion that “if I only had more” (money, wisdom, pleasure), then I would be satisfied with life.

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

Image result for hugh hefner younger days

 

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Image result for kerry livgren

In this letter I tell the story of Kerry Livgren who had the world at his feet when he was writing hit songs for KANSAS in the 1970’s but he found that there was an emptiness in his heart. As a result, he wrote the song DUST IN THE WIND which reached #6 in the pop music charts in 1978. I later saw him on THE 700 CLUB give his testimony how he found peace in Christ. I can think of no other song that ties in better with Ecclesiastes than the song DUST IN THE WIND.

Image result for kerry livgren 700 club

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Image result for kerry livgren

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Image result for adrian rogers

In this letter below I quoted the sermon outline from Adrian Rogers when I wrote, “Hugh you remind me of Solomon because you are looking for  lasting meaning in your life and you are looking in the same  6 areas that King Solomon did in what I call the 6 big L words. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).” I also quoted Ravi Zacharias when I wrote, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Image result for ravi zacharias ecclesiastes

Plus I quoted Francis Schaeffer’s discussion of what Woody Allen said concerning the meaning of life. Allen says that man is left with:
“… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness….” 

This ties in with Ecclesiastes perfectly. 

Image result for francis schaeffer

May 14, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Last week when I wrote you I mentioned that I got to attend the Paul McCartney concert on April 30, 2016 in Little Rock and I really enjoyed the song BLACKBIRD that Paul played.  My family and I really appreciated that  stand that Paul took back in the 1960’s by writing that song. I wanted to tell you something that I really appreciate about both your life and also Paul’s.  YOU BOTH HAVE ALWAYS STOOD FOR RACIAL EQUALITY!!!!

This week I wanted to talk to you about COMEDY and your personal friend LENNY BRUCE. Lenny Bruce took shots at racists. “Annabelle’s gone off and married a New York actor fellow.” Governor Faubus at his home would respond, “What is his name?” HARRY BELAFONTE!!! “Italian fellow, huh?” What laughs, and such a wonderful guy to nail, you know. I mean I am in for cruelty when you are making jokes about a guy like that.

I’ve been accused of bad taste, and I’ll go down to my grave accused of it and always by the same people, the ones who eat in restaurants that reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

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Lenny Bruce in 1959 on TV with Hugh Hefner

Gov Faubus in 1957 in Little Rock

 

HUGH, there was a dark side to Lenny’s comedy too. Lenny said, “All my humor is based upon destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I’d be standing on the breadline right in back of J. Edgar Hoover.”

Bob Dylan in his song LENNY BRUCE wrote, “He’s on some other shore, he didn’t wanna live anymore, Lenny Bruce is dead but he didn’t commit any crime, He just had the insight to rip off the lid before its time.”    HUGH, do you have the guts to take a long hard look at the big questions before it is your time to pass on and I hope you come up with a positive solution instead of the nihilistic viewpoint that so many others in the secular world embrace. 

Francis Schaeffer quoted your good friend Woody Allen in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? (co-authored by Dr. C. Everett Koop who I know you respected):

So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he (the individual) dies, or that man (as a whole) dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then you realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person – religiously or psychologically or existentially – the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying. As the famous artist Paul Gauguin wrote on his last painting shortly before he tried to commit suicide: “Whence come we? What are we? Whither do we go?” The answers are nowhere, nothing, and nowhere.

Woody Allen and Hugh Hefner in London

 

To sum up Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)
Image result for hugh hefner laughing
HUGH, you have been around the best comics in the world but HAS COMEDY PROVIDED YOU ANY ANSWERS? 3000 years ago Solomon pursued six “L” words in his search for the meaning of life and probing the area of LAUGHTER was one of his first places to start. In Ecclesiastes 2:2 he starts this quest but he concludes it is not productive to be laughing the whole time and not considering the serious issues of life. “I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” (2:2).   Then Solomon  asserted the nihilistic statement in Ecclesiastes 2:17: “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

In the Book of Ecclesiastes what are all of the 6 “L” words that Solomon looked into? He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

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.” This puts him in the same place that you find yourself. 

You are an atheist and you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: 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.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Image result for king solomon

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “ Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

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. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

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.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

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

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The rock group KANSAS

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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 youtube 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.

YOU believe  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. In contrast, DAVE HOPE believes death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

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

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.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: This is the 35th letter I have written to you and I hope you enjoyed your 90th birthday. However, I was sad when I read about the passing of your brother Keith. I know what a close friend he was of yours.

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HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 1) Letter from 6-6-16

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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

Jamie Francis noted:

 

A Modern Day Solomon

Hefner’s life sounds a lot like Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, doesn’t it? The former King of Israel experienced many of the same pleasures as Hugh Hefner did, and it never completely satisfied him either. Their lives were strikingly similar, at least in Solomon’s early years. But Solomon learned from his folly, and wrote about what he learned. He passed it on through the written Word of God. Readers, pay close attention. Here is the some of the gold Solomon passed down……..

I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:8-11)

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

Image result for adrian rogers

In this letter below I quoted the sermon outline from Adrian Rogers when I wrote, “Hugh you remind me of Solomon because you are looking for  lasting meaning in your life and you are looking in the same  6 areas that King Solomon did in what I call the 6 big L words. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).” I also quoted Ravi Zacharias when I wrote, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Image result for ravi zacharias ecclesiastes

Plus I quoted Francis Schaeffer concerning comparing both Leonardo da Vinci and King Solomon to what he called the UNIVERSAL MAN. I added Hugh Hefner and Ted Turner to the list of UNIVERSAL MEN because like Solomon  they had empires at their disposal, and with those empires they tried to find satisfaction and meaning from life and like Solomon they found life’s answers UNDER THE SUN unsatisfactory without God in the picture.

Image result for francis schaeffer

In this letter of June 6, 2016 to Hugh Hefner, I also quoted from a book I read called BEEN THERE. DONE THAT. NOW WHAT? (THE MEANING OF LIFE MAY SURPRISE YOU) by Ed Young written in 1994. Below is the letter.

Image result for ed young

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 June 6, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

In the article MAKE LOVE NOT WAR  you asserted, “I had been promoting the basic premises that became the sexual revolution from the very beginning and from early 1960 with the Playboy philosophy…”

Hugh you are an universal man in a way since you have succeeded in business and are recognized throughout the world as a leader in the sexual revolution. However, have you found a lasting meaning?

Image result for king solomon

Below are the comments of Francis Schaeffer on Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes:

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

Image result for Leonardo da Vinci

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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.

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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.”

Hugh you have your sexual exploits just like Solomon did, but also you have thrown your efforts into your business too. Sadly Solomon also found the pursuit of great works in his labor just as empty. In Ecclesiastes 2:11 he asserted, “THEN I CONSIDERED ALL THAT MY HANDS HAD DONE AND THE TOLL I HAD EXPENDED IN DOING IT, AND BEHOLD, ALL WAS VANITY AND A STRIVING AFTER WIND, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

Hugh you have been under the impression that all of your efforts have been an effort to pioneer something new.  But Solomon noted in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”

Hugh you remind me of Solomon because you are looking for  lasting meaning in your life and you are looking in the same  6 areas that King Solomon did in what I call the 6 big L words. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

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In the Playboy of August 1978 there appeared the interview, “Turner a candid conversation about big-time sports, sex, money and the media with Atlanta’s hip-shooting team owner and america’s cup winner.”

PLAYBOY: After college in Rhode Island, did you go to work for your father?

TURNER: Well, I was in the Coast Guard for six months first. Then I went into my father’s outdoor-advertising business. I had been putting up billboards with a hammer in my hand every summer since I was about 12, anyway. One summer, my father started making me pay for my room and board at home. Charged me $40 a month. When I complained, he suggested I look around town for something cheaper. So I stayed. But I admired my father a lot.

PLAYBOY: It wasn’t long before you took over the company, right?

TURNER: That’s right. My father committed suicide when I was 24 years old. Blew his brains out. I think he made the mistake of limiting his horizons. When he was a boy in Mississippi, he had told his mother that someday he would make $1,000,000. And when he did that, he had nowhere to go from there. When he killed himself, he was extended for about $5,000,000 or $6,000,000 and had assets of only about $2,000,000. But the situation was not hopeless.

PLAYBOY: How did you handle it?

TURNER: Well, just before he shot himself, he had actually sold the company. But I wanted to keep it. So I had to return the down payment, plus a penalty to the guys who had bought it, to annul the deal. Everybody said I was crazy. I could have taken that money and started something else. Those were very bad times in outdoor advertising. Television was killing billboards. 

Did you notice how Ted Turner totally missed the point of the question “How did you handle it?’ because the interviewer was really asking about the aftermath of Turner’s father’s suicide and Ted just told how he financially guided the company?  It seems money has blurred the Turners’ vision of what is really important in life  Ed Young will specifically comment on that later in this letter!!!!!

Image result for hugh hefner ted turner

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(Clockwise from top right: Turner with his first wife, Judy Nye; his second wife, Jane Smith; and his father)

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Image result for Buhrman-Pharr Hardware

In 1983 I visited Buhrman-Pharr Hardware in Texarkana which was one of our customers here in Arkansas and the owner Stanley Jones told me a very interesting story about who his grand kids were.  His daughter was married to Ted Turner and his three grand kids lived in Atlanta. Since that date I have taken to read up on Ted Turner’s life and I came upon this passage in the book BEEN THERE. DONE THAT. NOW WHAT? (THE MEANING OF LIFE MAY SURPRISE YOU) by Ed Young written in 1994:

One of the world’s wealthiest men, Ted Turner, has amassed a personal fortune estimated to exceed $3 billion. In 1980, Turner confided to his business adviser that he had four great ambitions for his life: to turn station WTCG into a national network, to go into the movie business, to be the country’s wealthiest man, and to be president of the United States. 

Eighteen-year-old Turner enrolled in Brown University in the 1950’s and majored in the classics, to his businessman father’s disgust. While he did well academically, he was eventually expelled and went to work for his father’s business, Turner Advertising in Charleston, South Caroline. He married for the first time in 1960 and divorced his wife while she was pregnant with their first child. Two years later he married again. By this time, his parents had separated and in 1963, his father (a millionaire himself by age fifty) committed suicide and left the family business to his son.

Strategically building his empire one block at a time, Turner never looked back–or so it seemed. But in 1982, in front of thousands of Georgetown University students, the man who appeared bullet-proof exposed a deep, deep heartbreak: “In the middle of a rip-roaring speech about entrepreneurship, Ted pulled out a well-worn copy of SUCCESS magazine, the journal his father used to read to him in the car on those long trips to inspect their billboards. His own face was on the cover. His booming voice trickled to a whisper, and he stared up into the rafters: ‘Is this enough?’ he asked in a hoarse voice.’Is this enough for you, Dad?'”

If you have a love affair with money you will never discover true riches because you will never have them. If you have a love affair with money, you will not enjoy your meals as much or sleep as well as the man who does not share your mistress of mammon. If you have a love affair with money and horde it, you will do so at your own peril. And finally, as Turner’s father proved, if you have a love affair with money you will not have anything but money to leave your family–and you can be sure of one thing: it is as likely to hurt them as it is to help. 

Wealth does not last. That’s right. It doesn’t last. “As he had come naked from his mother’s womb” said Solomon, ” so he will return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand. And this also is a grievous evil–exactly as a man is born, thus will he die. So, what is the advantage to him who toils for the wind?” (Ecclesiastes 5:15-16). 

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HUGH do you agree with fellow universal man Solomon that UNDER THE SUN there is no advantage for man when he toils for the wind? Naked we all came into the world and naked we will leave.

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

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

PS: This was the 39th letter I have written you and today I not only compared you to King Solomon but also to Ted Turner who took time at the peak of his success to give Playboy an in depth interview. Do you think Ted ever found satisfaction UNDER THE SUN when Solomon admitted that he certainly didn’t?

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( The Playboy Interview: Moguls eBook: Jeff Bezos, Playboy, Steve Jobs, Lee Iacocca, Bill Gates, David Geffen Malcolm Forbes Ted Turner)

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(A young Ted Turner with his father)

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Open letter to the nihilistic atheist comedian DOUG STANHOPE!!!!

Doug Stanhope on John Stossel

December 22, 2014

Dear Mr. Stanhope,

Like you I am a great admirer of John Stossell, Milton Friedman and Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute. I blog about these guys often at http://www.thedailyhatch.org. Since my son Hunter has been trying his hand at stand up, I also have been going to a lot of comedy clubs lately.

Hunter is always using  just original material from his own life and that involves the constant study of life itself. The absurdities inside life are always being carefully examined.

Since I have lived and worked in Little Rock many years, I used to run into Bill Clinton quite a lot in downtown Little Rock. It was quite remarkable to me when he chose to emphasize that the small town of  Hope was his home town even though he had only lived there 3 or 4 years. Of course, he did so because of the power of the word “HOPE.”  I wanted to talk to you about three men and the subject of nihilism: You are the first man and the 2nd is the Bass player DAVE HOPE of the 1970’s rock band Kansas and King Solomon of Israel who wrote Richard Dawkins’ favorite book of the Bible which is Ecclesiastes. There is a thread of nihilism that can be compared in these three men’s stories. Ironically, nihilism is the opposite of HOPE and two of these guys have the word HOPE in their names. 

Ten Sacred Cows Destroyed By Doug Stanhope

dougstanhope

From sex to religion, nothing’s off-topic for the fearless comedian. Posted December 12th, 2012, 1:12 PM by 

Last year, on Louis C.K.’s breakout hit series “Louie,” Doug Stanhope played Eddie, an old friend and peer of Louie’s who hadn’t found any success in comedy, nor any happiness in life. Sharing Louie’s low tolerance for bull$#!@, Eddie confided in him that he was just passing through town on his way to Boston, where he would do his final show before killing himself. Every argument Louie tries to muster to convince him otherwise is quickly and brutally shot down, and eventually, he has to just acquiesce to Eddie’s intentions and bid him farewell. With a strong performance from both men, they destroyed the common wisdom that suicide should never be a viable option.

The more viscerally affecting part of that episode is that Eddie doesn’t seem all that far removed from Stanhope himself, aside from the quality of his comedy. Stanhope’s stage persona is a nihilistic man who has to blind himself on alcohol and drugs to enjoy any small part of the bleak, unending hellscape of existence, but as he often says, he’s funnier when he’s drunk, which means he’s not blinding himself at all.

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Obviously you have already arrived at the nihilistic conclusion that many other atheists have reached in the past.
The late Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer sums up where the secular worldview has brought modern man:

So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he (the individual) dies, or that man (as a whole) dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then you realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person – religiously or psychologically or existentially – the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying. As the famous artist Paul Gauguin wrote on his last painting shortly before he tried to commit suicide: “Whence come we? What are we? Whither do we go?” The answers are nowhere, nothing, and nowhere. The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.79

One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

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To sum up Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)
HAS COMEDY PROVIDED YOU ANY ANSWERS? 3000 years ago Solomon pursued six “L” words in his search for the meaning of life and probing the area of LAUGHTER was one of his first places to start. In Ecclesiastes 2:2 he starts this quest but he concludes it is not productive to be laughing the whole time and not considering the serious issues of life. “I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” (2:2).   Then Solomon  asserted the nihilistic statement in Ecclesiastes 2:17: “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

In the Book of Ecclesiastes what are all of the 6 “L” words that Solomon looked into? He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). IRONICALLY, YOU HAVE MADE ALL SIX OF THESE BUTTS OF YOUR NIHILISTIC JOKES!!!

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.” This puts him in the same place that you find yourself. 

You are an atheist and you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: 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.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “ Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

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. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

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.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

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

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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 youtube 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. IT IS TRULY IRONIC THAT TWO MEN WITH THE WORD “HOPE” IN THEIR NAMES HAVE SUCH DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO THE 3 PROBLEMS THAT MAN MUST FACE IN ECCLESIASTES.

YOU believe  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. In contrast, DAVE HOPE believes death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

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

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.

I wanted to accomplish two things today. First, I wanted to point out to you that if you stay with the atheistic humanist worldview then the nihilism that you embrace is the only logical conclusion to come to. Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years ago that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

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

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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.

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

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Music video by Kansas performing Dust In The Wind. (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

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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)

 

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

 

 

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

 

 

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

 

 

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

 

 

Today I am going to look at H.J. Blackham and the artist featured today is  Arturo Herrera. Herrera’s art interests me because it is based on the idea that accidental chance can bring about something beautiful and that is the same place that materialistic modern men like Blackham have turned to when they have concluded that the origin of our existence can be explained by evolution which the combination of time, chance and matter and no designer needed.

Blackham lived to the age of 105 and died in 2009. During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know the Bible is True,” “The Final Judgement,” “Who is Jesus?” and the message by Bill Elliff, “How to get a pure heart.” I would also send them printed material from the works of Francis Schaeffer and a personal apologetic letter from me addressing some of the issues in their work. After reading Francis Schaeffer’s book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? I was interested in corresponding with H.J. Blackham because of a very powerful and revealing quote of his in Schaeffer’s book. I wrote him in 1994 and sent him the cassette tape mentioned early but never got a response back. Below is the Blackham quote as given by Schaeffer:

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

Actually this one quote alone from Blackham made me want to share the message that Christ does provide a lasting meaning to our lives, and that is why I started writing several leading atheists in the 1990’s. In my letters I demonstrated that  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 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, “Schaefferwho 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 lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors foexhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis 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!)


Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “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.” 

Origins of the Universe (Kalam Cosmological Argument) (Paul Kurtz vs Norman Geisler)

Published on Jun 6, 2012

Norm Geisler argues via Kalam Cosmological Argument for the origins of the universe with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. No matter how much evidence Geisler gave, Paul Kurtz refused to fully acknowledge the implications of it, while NEVER giving evidence for his own interpretation of the universe’s beginning.

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(Paul Kurtz pictured above)

Paul Kurtz  teamed up with H.J.Blackham and put together the Humanist Manifesto II which they both signed in 1973. I wrote back in 2012 when Paul Kurtz passed away that he was a fine gentleman that I had a chance to correspond with and I read several of his books (Forbidden Fruit was his best effort). One thing I vividly remember from the writings of Paul Kurtz was his love of life and his love for others. However, how can a materialist like Kurtz stay optimistic about his future when he did not believe in God or an afterlife? At the time when I was reading his writings that question kept popping up in my mind.

It is truly ironic to me that a truly outstanding person such as the British Humanist H.J. Blackham who lived such a long and interesting life would make the statement that “…On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing…” In fact, when Norman Geisler quoted this from Blackham in his famous debate with Paul Kurtz on the John Ankerberg Show, Kurtz said he knew Blackham and he was surprised that he would say such a thing, but that had been my contention that a secularist humanist worldview would logically lead to nihilism such as the nihilism that King Solomon discussed in Ecclesiastes (more on that later). How did humanist man get to that pessimistic conclusion? Francis Schaeffer has shed some light on that in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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Following is the first few pages of the chapter “The Basis for Human Dignity” which is found in the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer.

Introduction
So far in this book we have been considering an evil as great as any practiced in human history. Our society has put to death its own offspring, millions upon millions of them. Our society has justified taking their lives, even claiming it a virtue to do so. It has been said that this is a new step in our progress toward a liberated humanity.
Such a situation has not come out of a vacuum. Each of us has an overall way of looking at the world, which influences what we do day by day. This is what we call a “world-view.” And all of us have a world-view, whether we realize it or not. We act in accordance with our world-view, and our world-view rests on what to us is the ultimate truth.

Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era

What has produced the inhumanity we have been considering in the previous chapters is that society in the West has adopted a world-view which says that all reality is made up only of matter. This view is sometimes referred to as philosophic materialism, because it holds that only matter exists; sometimes it is called naturalism, because it says that no supernatural exists. Humanism which begins from man alone and makes man the measure of all things usually is materialistic in its philosophy. Whatever the label, this is the underlying world-view of our society today. In this view the universe did not get here because it was created by a “supernatural” God. Rather, the universe has existed forever in some form, and its present form just happened as a result of chance events way back in time.
Society in the West has largely rested on the base that God exists and that the Bible is true. In all sorts of ways this view affected the society. The materialistic or naturalistic or humanistic world-view almost always takes a superior attitude toward Christianity. Those who hold such a view have argued that Christianity is unscientific, that it cannot be proved, that it belongs simply to the realm of “faith.” Christianity, they say, rests only on faith, while humanism rests on facts.
Professor Edmund R. Leach of Cambridge University expressed this view clearly:
Our idea of God is a product of history. What I now believe about the supernatural is derived from what I was taught by my parents, and what they taught me was derived from what they were taught, and so on. But such beliefs are justified by faith alone, never by reason, and the true believer is expected to go on reaffirming his faith in the same verbal formula even if the passage of history and the growth of scientific knowledge should have turned the words into plain nonsense.78
So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he (the individual) dies, or that man (as a whole) dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then you realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person – religiously or psychologically or existentially – the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying. As the famous artist Paul Gauguin wrote on his last painting shortly before he tried to commit suicide: “Whence come we? What are we? Whither do we go?” The answers are nowhere, nothing, and nowhere. The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility.79

One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

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Notes
78. “When Scientists Play the Role of God,” London Times, November 16, 1978.
79. H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

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Francis Crick was in agreement with H.J.Blackham’s materialistic views and he concluded, “The Astonishing Hypothesis is that you—your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules” What if all this is true? What if the cosmos and the chemicals and the particles really are all that there is, and all that we are?

“If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” —Francis Schaeffer in The God Who Is There

“Eventually materialist philosophy undermines the reliability of the mind itself-and hence even the basis for science. The true foundation of rationality is not found in particles and impersonal laws, but in the mind of the Creator who formed us in His image.” —Phillip E. Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds “Can man live without God? Of course he can, in a physical sense.

Can he live without God in a reasonable way? The answer to that is No!” Then there is the problem the longing for satisfaction that every person feels. This is the same question that Solomon asked 3000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He knew there was something more.

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

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen somthing 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 brillant 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. __________

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

  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)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1)
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today people try to find satisfaction in education, alcohol, pleasure, and their work and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiates to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

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. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

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.”

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Music video by Kansas performing Dust In The Wind. (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

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

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

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

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Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of H.J. Blackham.

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.”

The humanist H. J. Blackham had this same message that

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

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H. J. Blackham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Harold John Blackham
Harold Blackham (1974).jpg

Harold Blackham (1974)
Born 31 March 1903
BirminghamEngland,
United Kingdom
Died 23 January 2009 (aged 105)
HerefordEngland,
United Kingdom
Occupation Writer and philosopher

Harold John Blackham (31 March 1903 – 23 January 2009) was a leading British humanist philosopher, writer and educationalist. He has been described as the “progenitor of modern humanism in Britain”.[1]

Born in Birmingham, Blackham left school following the end of World War I, and became a farm labourer, before gaining a place at Birmingham University to study divinity and history.[2] He acquired a teaching diploma and was the divinity master atDoncaster Grammar School.[2]

Joining the Ethical Union, Blackham drew the organisation further away from religious forms and played an important part in its formation into the British Humanist Association, becoming the BHA’s first Executive Director in 1963. He was also a founding member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), IHEU secretary (1952–1966), and received the IHEU’s International Humanist Award in 1974, and the Special Award for Service to World Humanism in 1978. In addition he was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto.[3]

His book, Six Existentialist Thinkers, became a popular university textbook.

He died on 23 January 2009 at the age of 105.[4]

Publications[edit]

  • Bury, JB, with an historical epilogue by HJ Blackham. A History of Freedom of Thought (2001). University Press of the Pacific. ISBN 0-89875-166-7
  • The Future of our Past: from Ancient Greece to Global Village (1996). Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-042-8
  • The Fable as Literature (1985). London: Continuum International Publishing Group – Athlone. ISBN 0-485-11278-7
  • Education for Personal Autonomy: Inquiry into the School’s Resources for Furthering the Personal Development of Pupils (editor) (1977). London: Bedford Sq. Press. ISBN 0-7199-0937-6
  • Humanists and Quakers: an exchange of letters (with Harold Loukes) (1969). Friends Home Service. ISBN 0-85245-011-7
  • Humanism (1968). London: Penguin. (published by Harvester in hardback, 1976. ISBN 0-85527-209-0)
  • Religion in a Modern Society (1966). London: Constable
  • Objections to Humanism (editor) (1963). London: Constable. ISBN 0-09-450170-X (published in paperback by Penguin, 1965, ISBN 0-14-020765-1)
  • The Humanist Tradition (1953). London: Routledge.
  • Six Existentialist Thinkers (1952). London: Routledge. ISBN 0-7100-1087-7
  • Living as a Humanist (1950)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Barbara Smoker (2003). “Blackham’s Best”. Blackham’s Best – Selected by Barbara SmokerISBN 095126351X.
  2. Jump up to:a b Barbara Smoker (19 April 2009). “Harold Blackham SPES Memorial Meeting”. SPES Memorial Meeting pamphlet.
  3. Jump up^ “Humanist Manifesto II”. American Humanist Association. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  4. Jump up^ http://www.iheu.org/node/3402

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Featured artist today is Arturo Herrera!!!!!

The reason I am featuring Arturo Herrera today is very simple. He is the best artist I can think of that illustrates where modern man had found himself today.

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Arturo Herrera

(Arturo’s work is based on chance and he is hopefully that something meaningful will bring out of it!!!!)

In this video below Arturo Herrera says, “I believe in being in the studio trying different things and just working through chance accidents...in order to get some kind of result…You know there is something in the image that keeps informing you, keeps teaching you, keeps surprising you and you can’t really put your finger on it. So you put it on the wall close to you with the hope that you will be able to solve it. It becomes your friend, your mentor, it becomes a support system to be able to say there is hope, yet you could do it…That is what keeps me going. It is possible to create an image that will have an impact. The multiplicity of images today with the internet makes the project utterly insane or irrational… If I make an image that hopefully is strong enough for some viewers then my job is done.”

Arturo Herrera: Powerful Images | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Jun 18, 2009

Episode #061: In his Berlin studio, Arturo Herrera discusses his relationship to creating abstract collages and images. Herrera takes the process of abstraction a step further by photographing fragments of his collages, such as in the work “Untitled” (2005), a series of 80 black and white photographs. He submerges the undeveloped film in hot and cold water, coffee, and tea, creating unpredictable results when printed. Editing the photos into a grid of images, Herrera creates a work thats greater than its individual parts.

For Arturo Herrera, abstraction is a language rooted in the practice of assembling and composing fragments. Herrera collects illustrated books, comics, and paint-by-number paintings, cutting and splicing them into new forms. He also creates his own source material by fragmenting drawings, watercolors, and shapes made by applying paint directly from the tube. Herrera collages all of these elements together, pasting them together to create a new whole.

Learn more about Arturo Herrera: http://www.art21.org/artists/arturo-h…

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller and Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera & Sound: Terry Doe and Leigh Crisp. Editor: Jenny Chiurco. Artwork Courtesy: Arturo Herrera.

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DO YOU NOW SEE WHY I HAVE FEATURED ARTURO HERRERA TODAY? HE IS LIVING OUT HIS LIFE AS AN ARTIST DISPLAYING HIS MATERIALISTIC CHANCE WORLDVIEW IN HIS ART!!!! 
Let me repeat what I said that Solomon was trying to say 3000 years ago in the book of Ecclesiastes.

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

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen somthing 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 brillant 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.

Arturo Herrera asserted, “I believe in being in the studio trying different things and just working through chance accidents...in order to get some kind of result.”
Fortunately some modern philosophers and scientists are starting to wake up and realize that materialistic chance evolution was not responsible for the origin of the universe but it was started by a Divine Mind. In fact, Antony Flew who was probably the most famous atheist of the 20th century took time to read several letters I sent him the 1990’s which included much material from Francis Schaeffer and he listened to several cassette tapes I sent him from Adrian Rogers and then in 2004 he reversed his view that this world came about through evolution and he left his atheism behind and  because a theist.  I still have several of the letters that Dr. Flew wrote back to me and I will be posting them later on my blog at some point.
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Arturo Herrera: Music | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on May 7, 2009

Episode #055: Filmed in his Berlin studio, artist Arturo Herrera discusses themes of subjectivity and abstraction while drawing connections between his love of music and his hopes for how audiences come to appreciate his visual work.

For Arturo Herrera, abstraction is a language rooted in the practice of assembling and composing fragments. Herrera collects illustrated books, comics, and paint-by-number paintings, cutting and splicing them into new forms. He also creates his own source material by fragmenting drawings, watercolors, and shapes made by applying paint directly from the tube. Herrera collages all of these elements together, pasting them together to create a new whole.

Arturo Herrera is featured in the Season 3 (2005) episode “Play” of the “Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century” television series on PBS.

Learn more about Arturo Herrera: http://www.art21.org/artists/arturo-h…

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller and Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera & Sound: Terry Doe and Leigh Crisp. Editor: Jenny Chiurco. Artwork Courtesy: Arturo Herrera. Special Thanks: Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

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Arturo Herrera pictured below:
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Arturo Herrera pictured below:

Arturo Herrera: Assistant Jeff Bechtel | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Aug 7, 2009

Episode #068: Arturo Herrera’s assistant Jeff Bechtel describes the process for translating one of the artist’s complex drawings into a refined monochromatic paper collage. Filmed in Herrera’s New York studio, Bechtel discusses how cartoon sources and stock imagery become abstracted into larger systems.

Arturo Herreras work includes collage, work on paper, sculpture, relief, wall painting, photography, and felt wall-hangings. Rooted in the history of abstraction, Herreras playful work taps into the viewers unconscious, often intertwining fragments of cartoon characters with cut-out shapes and partially obscured images that evoke memory and recollection.

Learn more about Arturo Herrera: http://www.art21.org/artists/arturo-h…

VIDEO | Producer Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Eve Moros Ortega. Camera: Mead Hunt. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Jenny Chiurco. Artwork Courtesy: Arturo Herrera. Special Thanks: Jeff Bechtel.

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Arturo Herrera said he took photographs of whatever was lying around in the studio. Americas Society Visual Arts Director Gabriela Rangel said of Herrera’s work: “There is a product of chance very present in the photos.” At the 2:40 point in the below film Arturo Herrera said he hired a computer programmer that created a chance order that his pictures would appear in combination with the music that was playing.

Arturo Herrera: Les Noces (The Wedding)

Uploaded on Mar 4, 2011

Watch a video of artist Arturo Herrera and Curator and Americas Society Visual Arts Director Gabriela Rangel discuss the process of putting together the exhibition Arturo Herrera: Les Noces (The Wedding), at Americas Society art gallery. The artist also gives a tour of selected pieces in the exhibition. Video produced by David Gacs.

To learn more, go to http://www.as-coa.org/VisualArts.

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From PBS:

Arturo Herrera

Home » Artists » Arturo Herrera

About Arturo Herrera

Arturo Herrera was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1959, and lives and works in New York and Berlin, Germany. He received a BA from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Herrera’s work includes collage, works on paper, sculpture, relief, wall painting, photography, and felt wall hangings. His work taps into the viewer’s unconscious—often intertwining fragments of cartoon characters with abstract shapes and partially obscured images that evoke memory and recollection. Using techniques of fragmentation, splicing, and re-contextualization, Herrera’s work is provocative and open-ended. For his collages, he uses found images from cartoons, coloring books, and fairy tales, combining fragments of Disney-like characters with violent and sexual imagery to make work that borders between figuration and abstraction and subverts the innocence of cartoon referents with a darker psychology. In his felt works, he cuts shapes from a piece of felt and pins the felt to the wall so that it hangs as a tangled form, resembling the drips and splatters of a Jackson Pollock painting. Herrera’s wall paintings also meld recognizable imagery with abstraction, but on an environmental scale that he compares to the qualities of dance and music. Herrera has received many awards including, among others, a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Fellowship. He has had solo exhibitions at Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; Dia Center for the Arts, New York; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; among others. His work appeared in the Whitney Biennial (2002).

Links
Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
Arturo Herrera on the Art21 Blog

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Arturo Herrera: Abstraction, Chance, and Collage

Arturo Herrera in his Berlin studio, 2005. Production still from the "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 3 episode, "Play," 2005. © Art21, Inc. 2005.Arturo Herrera in his Berlin studio, 2005. Production still from the “Art in the Twenty-First Century” Season 3 episode, “Play,” 2005. © Art21, Inc. 2005.

ART21: Can you clarify what you mean by [the word] chance, especially with the collages you’ve been photographing?

HERRERA: By chance, I mean (in the photo work) that I usually don’t compose the way I’m photographing. I go through and take three or four photos of the same collage, but I’m not carefully composing what the final shot will be. I’m basically shooting four or five photos in the hope that maybe one of them will work out. I don’t spend a lot of time setting up the drawings or selecting the specific fragments. I’m letting the photograph lead me into this thing.

Once the roll is done, I put it in water, and that’s where much more chance happens. The way the water seeps into the film—if it’s hot water or cold or coffee with ice cubes in it—it will affect the film and the emulsion on the film. After a week or a month there, then it’s taken to the lab, and whatever happens there will be part of the photograph.

After all the photos are done, I go through a very strict system of editing and selection. The process is based on how strong these images are, which ways they please me, and which ways they become challenging to me—and hopefully challenging to the audience. They seem to be very intimate images, and they allow you to go into this state of making connections between the fragments that you see, what they are supposed to be, and what they bring to your memory. So, it’s a fairly subjective process.

ART21: Can you say more about your system of selection?

HERRERA: The system of selection is just based on quality—your own system of quality. Going through hundreds and hundreds of images, you tend to have specific choices or preferences. If I’m happy with them or if I find they are intriguing, then I will include them. Working like this, without focusing on specific compositions when you’re photographing, leaves you with many, many photographs that don’t make the final cut. Sometimes the emulsion gets stuck, or the film gets damaged. So, I don’t really know what’s going to happen to these things until I see them printed.

ART21: What will be the final outcome for these photographs—the final work?

HERRERA: These photographs are made in a series of eighty images. I think, when you see them all together, you tend to create your own kind of viewing or journey or path or choreography. You tend to be taken by specific images, and then you start going from there, back and forth like a ping-pong ball or a pinball machine. This process becomes a very private conversation with these images. What these images tell the viewer, I don’t know; that, to me, remains somewhat secret. They’re satisfying to me, and I hope they’re satisfying to the audience.

Arturo Herrera in his Berlin studio, 2005. Production still from the "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 3 episode, "Play," 2005. © Art21, Inc. 2005.Arturo Herrera in his Berlin studio, 2005. Production still from the “Art in the Twenty-First Century” Season 3 episode, “Play,” 2005. © Art21, Inc. 2005.

ART21: Is there an associational narrative for you, or is it purely abstract?

HERRERA: Well, the photos deal with the history of photography, modernism, chance operation, surrealism—they’re complex in different ways. But they are also very quiet. They don’t try to undermine or criticize or pay homage; they’re just part of a tradition which I respect. And this is just my participation with these images. I believe that the dialogue with these images is both emotional and intellectual. It’s a one-to-one dialogue, and associative power or juxtaposition is the way to enter the work. As you can see, the photos deal with my own mark making and popular culture. It’s a collage, taken to a photographic level. The fragment is still there, and the juxtapositions and the references are all exploding in front of your face.

It’s kind of a silent cacophony. It’s loud but, at the same time, quiet. I’m interested in this kind of ambiguity about the images. They’re clearly from a tradition, they’re clearly based on fragments, and they’re being juxtaposed. They’re being forced to be together, there’s chance operations, and yet they’re just abstractions. Now, is that pertinent today? I don’t know, but I want to explore the possibility because abstraction is a fairly young language.

ART21: How did your work change when you went to school in Chicago?

HERRERA: I spent eight years traveling and working before that. I traveled in Europe and went back to Venezuela. It was a period of reflecting on what had happened in school and reflecting on what I wanted to do. I decided to go to graduate school in Chicago. That allowed for a very critical training. I think my interest in popular culture, cartoons and signs developed because these elements were easily accessible. They’re inexpensive. They were all around in stores—Salvation Army, Goodwill. So, you could actually make works very cheaply using glue, scissors, and paper. So, that allowed me to be able to cut and find fragments that were richer than the actual pages where they came from. Juxtaposing those fragments created other images with surprising effects. So then, I kept going.

ART21: But doesn’t collage mean “to paste,” not “to cut”?

HERRERA: To be able to paste two or three pieces of paper, you have to achieve that through cutting. But I think the most essential part of collage is imposing or juxtaposing—to glue a piece of paper on top of another piece of paper. So, that is the essential aspect of collage. Cutting allows you to concentrate on the essence of the fragment that you want to isolate. But collaging means gluing, that’s really the most important thing. That’s when the images are actually formed, when they’re actually joined together for good.

Arturo Herrera in his New York studio, 2004. Production still from the "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 3 episode, "Play," 2005. © Art21, Inc. 2005.Arturo Herrera in his New York studio, 2004. Production still from the “Art in the Twenty-First Century” Season 3 episode, “Play,” 2005. © Art21, Inc. 2005.

ART21: Can you talk about fragmentation and the final image?

HERRERA: I’m interested in how an image that is so well composed and so clear and so objective—made out of these disparate fragments—can be glued, forced together to create an image that will have a different reading from what the fragments said. Both sides are part of the image’s ambiguity, of not knowing exactly what I’m looking at, and then the clarity of the way it was composed. This is something intriguing to me.

ART21: How much are you directing the viewer in your work?

HERRERA: You’re on your own when you look at these images. Fragments offer a point of entry that you can identify in the piece. Once you’re there, you are in a complete process of association. And that process is completely different to another person’s process. So, I’m not directing you towards a specific reading. You will be able to form whatever information you want from this image because it allows this field of abstraction, with some subjectivity, and then the objectivity of the image is there, too. So, you shift back and forth without any kind of order or didactic direction from me telling you what to do or how to look at the image.

ART21: What about the impact the scale of your work makes on the viewer?

HERRERA: The collages represent a very intimate scale and actually indicate the way I work and the scale of the table that I work on. I think the scale of the collages allows for an intimate connection. And seeing them in series allows them to inform back and forth. The intimacy of the scale is important because when the wall paintings occur, it’s a completely different situation.

Arturo Herrera, "Keep in Touch (from set #4)," detail, 2004. Installation view at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, 2005. Production still from the "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 3 episode, "Play," 2005. Artwork courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2005.Arturo Herrera, “Keep in Touch (from set #4),” detail, 2004. Installation view at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, 2005. Production still from the “Art in the Twenty-First Century” Season 3 episode, “Play,” 2005. Artwork courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2005.

ART21: What propels you to come to the studio every day?

HERRERA: Coming to the studio is time for discovery. As Stravinsky said, “Unless you work for many hours, nothing is going to happen.” So, the muse of invention doesn’t exist; you just have to work. It’s a job, and you just have to come. For me, usually, it happens at the last minute of the last hour: I’m utterly exhausted, and I thought it was a wasted day, and then something happens. So, I believe in just being in the studio, trying different things, playing, experimenting.

Working through chance accidents, it’s hard to be able to get some kind of result. Since I don’t work through specific ideas, I basically have to sit and come up with something. The only way to do that is just to come into the studio and get your hands dirty, get the X-Acto blade cutting paper. Unless I work, I don’t find anything. The more time I spend here, the better.

ART21: But that’s not what propels you to be here.

HERRERA: Right. I come to the studio to be able to create an image that will have a certain impact. All artists look at other artists from the past and admire some artists greatly because they had the courage to try—the power to be able to go into this other scale, or this combination of colors, or what have you. To be able to join them eventually is, first of all, a challenge. You want to get there (maybe I will never get there), but it just keeps you going—that you might be able to participate in this dance with these other people.

If I make an image that is strong enough or generous enough to some viewers, then my job is done. I’m happy with the image; I feel it’s a strong image. And, if it actually provides some kind of emotional and intellectual nourishment or idea to the viewer, then my job is done. That’s what keeps me going.

Is it possible to create an image that will have any impact now, with the multiplicity of images today, with the Internet and digital cameras and film and video? I think there are still images that people have not seen and that will be powerful enough to be able to send different messages. What kind of images these are, I don’t know. I’m trying to get there; I’m trying to find them. I don’t know what they look like. So, I come to the studio to dissect them from other fragments.

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Attorney: Ark. weatherman innocent in Maumelle death of Dexter Williams

Today’s THV channel 11 in Little Rock reported:

MAUMELLE, Ark. (AP) – An attorney for a local meteorologist says no foul play was involved in the death of a 24-year-old Mountain Pine man.

Little Rock-based lawyer Mark Hampton said Thursday that KARK meteorologist Brett Cummins is innocent.

Authorities say Cummins and the body of 24-year-old Dexter Williams were found in a jacuzzi at a Maumelle home on Monday. Williams was wearing what appeared to be a dog collar around his neck and according to the police report, the homeowner said they had been doing drugs the night before.

No charges have been filed in Williams’ death. Authorities have questioned Cummins and the homeowner multiple times.

Police have not yet released the preliminary results of Williams’ autopsy. His family says they’re disturbed by the circumstances surrounding his death and added that Williams was easily influenced.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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The recent events in Little Rock concerning KARK TV’s top weatherman Brett Cummins and his experience of drinking alcohol and snorting coke has left a lot of people asking questions. Since the evening ended in the tragic death of one of Brett’s friends, Dexter Williams, many questions have centered on the use of illegal drugs. Some has wondered why KARK in their press release failed to even mention Cummins’ drug use.

I am hoping that those that I know who are involved in drugs will think long and hard also about the recent addition to the “27 Club” of Amy Whinehouse.

Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren went on a journey in their life together. They both were founding members of the rock group Kansas. Dave Hope actually got heavily involved in the drug scene as his rock band made it to the top. His story of deliverance through Christ is in the two video clips later in this post. First I want to take a look at the story of Kerry Livgren. Step by step in this 8 minute video clip he tells about his journey and how he found the answer he was searching for by putting his faith alone in Christ. I want to challenge those who have chosen to escape through drugs to watch this video and I wound love to have your feedback.

Kerry Livgren testimony

Uploaded by on Nov 1, 2009

Kerry Livgren( music group Kansas) testimony and promotion of film The Imposter starring Kevin Max(DC Talk) and Jeff Deyo.

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At this point I am posting a portion of a previous post I did earlier this year. It deals with the search for satisfaction that Woody Allen, Coldplay, Kansas and King Solomon all went on. It includes the video clips of Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren of Kansas.

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Here is an article I wrote a couple of years ago:

Solomon, Woody Allen, Coldplay and Kansas

What does King Solomon, the movie director Woody Allen and the modern rock bands Coldplay and Kansas have in common? All four took on the issues surrounding death, the meaning of life and a possible afterlife, although they all came up with their own conclusions on these weighty matters.

Let me start off by pointing out what they all had in common. First, they were very successful and rose to the top of their fields. Second, they were very famous and of course, thirdly they were wealthy and experienced the privileges that fame and wealth brought. Finally, they were still seeking answers to life’s great questions even though it seemed they had experienced all the world had to offer.

Unlike many the past grammy winners of “Best Rock Album,” Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends by Coldplay is filled with songs that deal with spiritual themes such as death, the meaning of life and searching for an afterlife.

Leadsinger Chris Martin notes, “…because we’ve had some people close to us we’ve lost, but some miracles — we’ve got kids. So, life has been very extreme recently, and so both death and life pop up quite often” (MTV News interview, June 9, 2008).

Russ Briermeier of Christianity Today observes that this album is “often provocative, spiritual, and seemingly on the verge of identifying a greater truth, asking and inspiring many questions without providing the answers.” It reminded me of King Solomon’s search for answers in the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. Solomon also dealt the subject of death a lot. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 asserts, “It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time. Sorrow is better than laughter, it may sadden your face, but it sharpens your understanding.”

The subject of death is prominent in the songs “Poppyfields,” “Violet Hill,” “Death and All His Friends,” “42,” and the “Cemeteries of London.” Then the song “The Escapist” states, “And in the end, We lie awake and we dream, we’re makin our escape.” In the end we all die. Therefore, I assume this song is searching for an afterlife to escape to. The song “Glass of Water” sheds some more light on where we possibly escape to: “Oh he said you could see a future inside a glass of water, with riddles and the rhymes, He asked ‘Will I see heaven in mine?’

Coldplay is clearly searching for spiritual answers but it seems they have not found them quite yet. The song “42“: “Time is so short and I’m sure, There must be something more.” Then the song “Lost“: “Every river that I tried to cross, Every door I ever tried was locked, I’m just waiting til the shine wears off, You might be a big fish in a little pond, Doesn’t mean you’ve won, Because along may come a bigger one and you will be lost.”
Solomon went to the extreme in his searching in the Book of Ecclesiastes for this “something more” that Coldplay is talking about, but he did not find any satisfaction in pleasure (2:1), education (2:3), work (2:4), wealth (2:8) or fame (2:9). All of his accomplishments would not be remembered (1:11) and who is to say that they had not already been done before by others (1:10)? This reminds me of the big fish in the little pond that Coldplay was talking about. Even if you think you are on top, are you really? Also Solomon’s upcoming death depressed him because both people and animals alike “go to the same place — they came from dust and they return to dust” (3:20).

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

Livgren wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

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

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Ecclesiastes 2-3

Published on Sep 19, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider

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