Tag Archives: personal God

Responding to Oppenneimer and Lizza:Defending Francis Schaeffer’s influence on believers such as Michele Bachmann(Part 7)

Both Oppenneimer and Lizza have attacked Francis Schaeffer’s view, but the way to know his views best is to take time to watch his film series. I said that in my first post and I will continue to show all ten episodes of his film series “How should we then live?”

This is a series of posts concerning presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her religious beliefs. Particularly I will be looking at the identity of Francis Schaeffer who Michele said had major impact on her views. I also would say that Francis Schaeffer was the greatest christian philosopher of the 20th century.

In 1979 I first watched the film series “How should we then live?” and it was so impressive to me that I returned to my high school with permission from my former teacher to view the series again. In fact, Mr. Brink would tell the seniors at Evangelical Christian School in  Cordova, TN something to this affect: “I hope you realize how important this film series by Dr. Francis Schaeffer is. Here we have Everette Hatcher who is in college now, but he is coming back to see this film again because he knows how valuable it is.”

The best way to understand Michele Bachmann’s worldview is to watch the film series “How should we then live?” by Francis Schaeffer. I have provided a 30 minute episode at the end of this post with a written outline.  In this film series the humanist worldview is seen as weak because it is not able to give adequate answers to life’s tough questions while the christian worldview can.  Humanism has a finite base because it is limited to finite man while the Christian worldview is based on information provided by the infinite-personal God of the Bible.

__________________________________________

E P I S O D E 7

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

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

10 Worldview and Truth

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

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act on his belief that we live in a closed system that was produced by chance with no God. Therefore, man’s only alternative is to look to chance and nonreason for our search for meaning in life and for moral guidance. Schaeffer rightly points out “With what Christ and the Bible teach, Man can have life instead of death—in having knowledge that is more than finite Man can have from himself.”

T h e AGE OF NON-REASON

I. Optimism Of Older Humanist Philosophers:

The unity and true knowledge of reality defined as starting from Man alone.

II. Shift in Modern Philosophy

A. Eighteenth century as the vital watershed.

B. Rousseau: ideas and influence.

1. Rousseau and autonomous freedom.

2. Personal freedom and social necessity clash in Rousseau.

3. Rousseau’s influence.

a) Robespierre and the ideology of the Terror.

b) Gauguin, natural freedom, and disillusionment.

C. DeSade: If nature is the absolute, cruelty equals non-cruelty.

D. Impossible tension between autonomous freedom and autonomous reasons conclusion that the universe and people are a part of the total cosmic machine.

E. Kant, Hegel, and Kierkegaard and their followers sought for a unity but they did not solve the problem.

1. After these men and their followers, there came an absolute break between the area of meaning and values, and the area of reason.

2. Now humanistic philosophy sees reason as always leading to pessimism; any hope of optimism lies in non-reason.

III. Existentialism and Non-Reason

A. French existentialism.

1. Total separation of reason and will: Sartre.

2. Not possible to live consistently with this position.

B. German existentialism.

1. Jaspers and the “final experience.”

2. Heidegger and angst.

C. Influence of existentialism.

1. As a formal philosophy it is declining.

2. As a generalized attitude it dominates modern thought.

IV. Forms of Popularization of Nonrational Experience

A. Drug experience.

1. Aldous Huxley and “truth inside one’s head.”

2. Influence of rock groups in spreading the drug culture; psychedelic rock.

B. Eastern religious experience: from the drug trip to the Eastern religious trip.

C. The occult as a basis for “hope” in the area of non-reason.

V. Theological Liberalism and Existentialism

A. Preparation for theological existentialism.

1. Renaissance’s attempt to “synthesize” Greek philosophers and Christianity; religious liberals’ attempt to “synthesize” Enlightenment and Christianity.

2. Religious liberals denied supernatural but accepted reason.

3. Schweitzer’s demolition of liberal aim to separate the natural from the supernatural in the New Testament.

B. Theological existentialism.

1. Intellectual failure of rationalist theology opened door to theological existentialism.

2. Barth brought the existential methodology into theology.

a) Barth’s teaching led to theologians who said that the Bible is not true in the areas of science and history, but they nevertheless look for a religious experience from it.

b) For many adherents of this theology, the Bible does not give absolutes in regard to what is right or wrong in human behavior.

3. Theological existentialism as a cul-de-sac.

a) If Bible is divorced from its teaching concerning the cosmos and history, its values can’t be applied to a historic situation in either morals or law; theological pronouncements about morals or law are arbitrary.

b) No way to explain evil or distinguish good from evil. Therefore, these theologians are in same position as Hindu philosophers (as illustrated by Kali).

c) Tillich, prayer as reflection, and the deadness of “god.”

d) Religious words used for manipulation of society.

VI. Conclusion

With what Christ and the Bible teach, Man can have life instead of death—in having knowledge that is more than finite Man can have from himself.

Questions

1. What is the difference between theologians and philosophers of the rationalist tradition and those of the existentialist tradition?

2. “If the early church had embraced an existentialist theology, it would have been absorbed into the Roman pantheon.” It didn’t. Why not?

3. “It is true that existentialist theology is foreign to biblical religion. But biblical religion was the product of a particular culture and, though useful for societies in the same cultural stream, it is no longer suitable for an age in which an entire range of world cultures requires a common religious denominator. Religious existentialism provides that, without losing the universal instinct for the holy.” Study this statement carefully. What assumptions are betrayed by it?

4. Can you isolate attitudes and tendencies in yourself, your church, and your community which reflect the “existentialist methodology” described by Dr. Schaeffer?

Key Events and Persons

Rousseau: 1712-1778

Kant: 1724-1804

Marquis de Sade: 1740-1814

The Social Contract: 1762

Hegel: 1770-1831

Kierkegaard: 1813-1855

Paul Gauguin: 1848-1903

Whence, What Whither?: 1897-1898

Albert Schweitzer: 1875-1965

Quest for the Historical Jesus: 1906

Karl Jaspers: 1883-1969

Paul Tillich: 1886-1965

Karl Barth: 1886-1968

Martin Heidegger: 1889-1976

Aldous Huxley: 1894-1963

J.P. Sartre: 1905-1980

Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper: 1967

Further Study

Unless already familiar with them, take time to listen to the Beatles’ records, as well as to discs put out by other groups at the time.

Albert Camus, The Stranger (1942).

Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception (1954).

Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762).

J.P. Sartre, Nausea (1938).

Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be (1952).

Following Rousseau, the exaggeration of the delights and the pathos of nature and experience which marks Romanticism may be sampled in, for example, Wordsworth’s poems, Casper David Friedrich’s paintings, and Schubert’s songs.

J.G. Fichte, Addresses to the German Nation (1968).

J.W. von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1962).

Erich Heller, The Disinherited Mind (1952).

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Responding to Oppenneimer and Lizza:Defending Francis Schaeffer’s influence on believers such as Michele Bachmann(Part 6)

Both Oppenneimer and Lizza have attacked Francis Schaeffer’s view, but the way to know his views best is to take time to watch his film series. I said that in my first post and I will continue to show all ten episodes of his film series “How should we then live?”

This is a series of posts concerning presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her religious beliefs. Particularly I will be looking at the identity of Francis Schaeffer who Michele said had major impact on her views. I also would say that Francis Schaeffer was the greatest christian philosopher of the 20th century.

In 1979 I first watched the film series “How should we then live?” and it was so impressive to me that I returned to my high school with permission from my former teacher to view the series again. In fact, Mr. Brink would tell the seniors at Evangelical Christian School in  Cordova, TN something to this affect: “I hope you realize how important this film series by Dr. Francis Schaeffer is. Here we have Everette Hatcher who is in college now, but he is coming back to see this film again because he knows how valuable it is.”

The best way to understand Michele Bachmann’s worldview is to watch the film series “How should we then live?” by Francis Schaeffer. I have provided a 30 minute episode at the end of this post with a written outline.  In this film series the humanist worldview is seen as weak because it is not able to give adequate answers to life’s tough questions while the christian worldview can.  Humanism has a finite base because it is limited to finite man while the Christian worldview is based on information provided by the infinite-personal God of the Bible.

__________________________________________

Posted by Sarah Pulliam Bailey
I often tease my friend who will run for president some day that our friendship will end up costing him dearly. Reporters will dig up our connection and will explain what a freak I am and how that disqualifies him to be president. That’s kind of how it goes now if you run for office, apparently, no matter where you fall politically.

We see this kind of guilt by association throughout a new piece on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) from The New Yorker, a much talked-about profile that includes some bizarre connections and strange inferences.

Apparently this is the week for targeting Bachmann, as there is much talk about the notorious Newseek cover, which we’ll deal with in a later post. Some of you may resonate with Slate’s Jessica Grose when she says, “I hate it when Michele Bachmann makes me defend her,” but hold on to your hats for a Leblancian edit (bolded phrases are my own) of the religion-related parts of New Yorker’s smear by Ryan Lizza.

Bachmann belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians.

Oh really? What’s his basis for this claim?

Her campaign is going to be a conversation about a set of beliefs more extreme than those of any American politician of her stature, including Sarah Palin, to whom she is inevitably compared. Bachmann said in 2004 that being gay is “personal enslavement,” and that, if same-sex marriage were legalized, “little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal and natural and that perhaps they should try it.”

Bachmann wasn’t the first to consider sin enslavement, even if you might agree or disagree with her interpretation. How does Lizza know that her campaign will be focus on a set of beliefs? Is the media making this the focus?

…The trip [to Israel] gave her a connection to Israel, a state whose creation, many American evangelicals believe, is prophesied in the Bible. (St. Paul, in the Letter to the Romans, says that Jews will one day gather again in their homeland; modern fundamentalists see this, along with the coming of the Antichrist, as presaging the Rapture.)

Who are modern fundamentalists and what do they have to do with Bachmann? Is there any evidence that Bachmann holds the idea of pretribulation, midtribulation, or posttribulation rapture? Or maybe she’s postmillennial or even amillennial.

These ideas get complex, so things get muddy while trying to summarize an entire belief system on eschatology in a paragraph when the reporter doesn’t offer evidence for those beliefs.

In the fall of 1975, Bachmann enrolled at Winona State University, a small school in southeastern Minnesota, where she became more devout and tried to lead her dormmates to Christianity.

Regular readers know we hate the d-word. And, of course, part of being an evangelical often means evangelism, so this isn’t exactly breaking news or terribly unusual.

Then the reporter examines the beliefs of the late Francis Schaeffer, who was kind of a big deal for many evangelicals. Now, Bachmann has said before that Schaeffer has strongly influenced her views, so the association here makes sense. What’s strange is how the reporter portrays him as fringe. Here’s the reporter’s explanation for part of a video Schaeffer produced.

In the sixth episode, a mysterious man in a fake mustache drives around in a white van and furtively pours chemicals into a city’s water supply, while Schaeffer speculates about the possibility that the U.S. government is controlling its citizens by means of psychotropic drugs.

How much of that video consisted of speculation? Is there any indication that Bachmann holds this belief?

Lizza uses Schaeffer’s son Frank to explain his father’s beliefs, but he should at least acknowledge that Frank has also taken his own ideological shift. For example, Frank recently blamed the shootings in Norway on conservative evangelicals and warns that evangelicals could be planning similar attacks in the U.S. Hmm.

In 1981, three years before he died, Schaeffer published “A Christian Manifesto,” a guide for Christian activism, in which he argues for the violent overthrow of the government if Roe v. Wade isn’t reversed.

I’ll defer to Ben Domenech.

… I find this depiction of Schaeffer’s position is just a vicious smear.

What Schaeffer called for were acts of civil disobedience if Roe v. Wade was not overturned. He repeatedly and specifically stressed that violence was not justified – “overreaction can too easily become the ugly horror of sheer violence”, he wrote.

Oops. You don’t have to agree with Schaeffer to wonder whether he is unfairly maligned in this piece. The reporter then jumps to Bachmann time at Oral Roberts’ former law school.

For several years, the school could not get accreditation, because students were required to sign a “code of honor” attesting to their Christian belief and commitment.

Does anyone know whether this is really the reason why the school couldn’t get accredited? This surprises me, considering that lots and lots of colleges that have variations on a religious “code of honor” are accredited (BYU anyone?).

The law review published essays by Schaeffer and Rousas John Rushdoony, a prominent Dominionist who has called for a pure Christian theocracy in which Old Testament law—execution for adulterers and homosexuals, for example—would be instituted.

Here are more attempts to prove guilt by association. I’m guess that, for example, our friend Mr. Brad Greenberg does not believe everything a professors who write for a law review from UCLA produces, but maybe he does. Did the law review publish essays calling to execute homosexuals and adulterers? Did she believe these claims in any way?

Lizza quotes professor John Eidsmoe whom Bachmann worked for at Oral Roberts (ORU).

When I asked him if he believed that Bachmann’s views were fully consistent with the prevailing ideology at O.R.U. and the themes of his book, he said, “Yes.” Later, he added, “I do not know of any way in which they are not.”

That’s a pretty generic question he’s answering. It doesn’t get into if she believes in criminalizing adultery or homosexuality, which seems to insinuate. Then Lizza touches on Bachmann’s foster parenting.

Bachmann’s motivation seems to have been to save the girls, in the same way that she had been saved.

Again, not terribly shocking for a Christian foster parent, but even if this was her motivation, how she did this would be more relevant. Is there any evidence that she coerced the children in any way?

In the late nineteen-nineties, William Cooper, a wealthy bank executive and conservative activist, became chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, and started to demand more ideological purity. “He began a purge of people like me,” Laidig said. “No abortion, so if your daughter is raped or if you find out your child is going to be permanently a vegetable you have the kid. Not every abortion is birth control, O.K.? So really hard-core stuff.”

Maybe he did, but did this Republican leader really want to “purge” people that supported abortion in cases of rape and if child is a permanent “vegetable?” How does this apply to Bachmann?

Here’s another journalist using guilt by association with a very tenuous basis on reality to take shots. I could go on and on about the problems in the piece and how it could have been improved, but for now, we’ll ponder why these sections weren’t edited more thoroughly.

Pieces like this do little to illuminate Bachmann’s beliefs or how they apply to her policy stances, but NPR doesn’t mind highlighting it (audio will be available later today). Better watch out who you’re friending on Facebook. You never know what they said 20 years ago that will come back to haunt you in your next job interview.

Written by: Sarah Pulliam Bailey on August 9, 2011

I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in Modern Science. A. Change in conviction from earlier modern scientists.B. From an open to a closed natural system: elimination of belief in a Creator.1. Closed system derives not from the findings of science but from philosophy.2. Now there is no place for the significance of Man, for morals, or for love.C. Darwin taught that all life evolved through the survival of the fittest.1. Serious problems inherent in Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism.

This is probably one of the most important episodes in the series.

The Scientific Age

Uploaded by  on Oct 3, 2011

T h e

SCIENTIFIC AGE

I. Church Attacks on Copernican Science Were Philosophical

Galileo’s and Copernicus’ works did not contradict the Bible but the elements of Aristotle’s teaching which had entered the Church.

II. Examples of Biblical Influence

A. Pascal’s work.

1. First successful barometer; great writing of French prose.

2. Understood Man’s uniqueness: Man could contemplate, and Man had value to God.

B. Newton

1. Speed of sound and gravity.

2. For Newton and the other early scientists, no problem concerning the why, because they began with the existence of a personal God who had created the universe.

C. Francis Bacon

1. Stressed careful observation and systematic collection of information.

2. Bacon and the other early scientists took the Bible seriously, including its teaching concerning history and the cosmos.

D. Faraday

1. Crowning discovery was the induction of the electric current.

2. As a Christian, believed God’s Creation is for all men to understand and enjoy, not just for a scientific elite.

_______________

Francis Schaeffer- How Should We Then Live? -6- The Scientific Age

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY0e-_jvWg8

III. Scientific Aspects of Biblical Influence

A. Oppenheimer and Whitehead: biblical foundations of scientific revolution.

B. Not all early scientists individually Christian, but all lived within Christian thought forms. This gave a base for science to continue and develop.

C. The contrast between Christian-based science and Chinese and Arab science.

D. Christian emphasis on an ordered Creation reflects nature of reality and is therefore acted upon in all cultures, regardless of what they say their world view is.

1. Einstein’s theory of relativity does not imply relative universe.

2. Man acts on assumption of order, whether he likes it or not.

3. Master idea of biblical science.

a) Uniformity of natural causes in an open system: cause and effect works, but God and Man not trapped in a process.

b) All that exists is not a total cosmic machine.

c) Human choices therefore have meaning and effect.

d) The cosmic machine and the machines people make therefore not a threat.

IV. Shift in Modern Science

A. Change in conviction from earlier modern scientists.

B. From an open to a closed natural system: elimination of belief in a Creator.

1. Closed system derives not from the findings of science but from philosophy.

2. Now there is no place for the significance of Man, for morals, or for love.

C. Darwin taught that all life evolved through the survival of the fittest.

1. Serious problems inherent in Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism.

2. Extension of natural selection to society, politics and ethnics.

D. Natural selection and Nazi ideology.

E. The new authoritarianism: not the crudely dictatorial regimes of Hitler and Stalin. New regimes will be subtly manipulative, based on sophisticated arsenal of new techniques now available.

1. To obtain organs for transplants forces acceptance of new definition of death. Possible abuses.

2. Without the absolute line which Christianity gives of the total uniqueness of Man, people have no boundary line between what they can do and what they should do.

3. Moral and legal implications of Artificial Insemination by Donor (A.I.D.)

4. Skinner’s social psychology and the abolition of Man.

5. Tell people they are machines and they will tend to act accordingly.

6. Each theory of conditioning leads to social application.

a) Koestler: tranquilizer to cure human aggression.

b) Clark and Lee: controlling aggressions of politicians.

c) Kranty: control reproduction through the water supply.

7. Who controls the controllers? —The unasked question.

a) The basic question begged: the psycho-civilizer as King?

b) If people are machines, why should biological continuation have value?

V. Need to Reaffirm That  Which Was the Original Base for Modern Science

Questions

1. Explain the important contributions to science made by biblical principles.

2. How should our knowledge of the biblical view of work and nature affect our own attitudes to research, study of the Bible, and the use of our minds?

3. Does this segment help you to understand how and why men of great intellectual refinement in Nazi Germany could accept what was going on?

4. “Without the absolute line which Christianity gives of the total uniqueness of Man, people have no boundary line between what they can do and what they should do.” Discuss.

Key Events and Persons

Copernicus: 1475-1543

Francis Bacon: 1561-1626

Novum Organum Scientiarum: 1620

Galileo: 1564-1642

Pascal: 1623-1662

Isaac Newton: 1642-1727

Principia Mathematica: 1687

Michael Faraday: 1791-1867

Charles Darwin: 1809-1882

Origin of Species: 1859

Herbert Spencer: 1820-1903

Albert Einstein: 1879-1955

Russel Lee: 1895-

Heinrich Himmler: 1900-1945

B.F. Skinner: 1904-1990

Arthur Koestler: 1905-

Kenneth B. Clark: 1914-

Murray Eden: 1920-

Kermit Kranty: 1923-

Skinner’s Beyond Freedom and Dignity: 1971

Further Study

Robin Briggs, ed., The Scientific Revolution of the Seventeenth Century (1969).

E.A. Burtt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science (1932).

Arthur Koestler, The Watershed. A Biography of Johannes Kepler (1960).

Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine (1967).

C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength (1945).

C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1972).

D.M. Mackay, The Clockwork Image (1974).

Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution. Wistar Symposium

Monograph, no. 5 (1967).

B.F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971).

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How Should We Then Live 3-1 I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so many problems today with this excellent episode. He noted, “Could have gone either way—with emphasis on real people living in […]

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

How Should We Then Live 2-1 I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard to authority and the approach to God.” […]

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

How Should We Then Live 1-1 Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why it fell. It fell because of inward [..