Psalms 8:4— What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Above—Sculpture of St. Paul by Frederick Elliott Hart (1943-1999) west entrance National Cathedral, Washington D.C.
As someone elected from before the foundations of the world, the author came out of spiritual darkness and received his sight from the Great Physician in November of 1976. Mr. Wickliffe has grown in his understanding and application of the inerrant Bible to his life. The author has also learned how to study the Bible: leaving words in their biblical context, avoiding the interjection of personal bias into scriptural interpretation and comparing the Bible with the Bible (spiritual with spiritual).
Mr. Wickliffe has had many challenges in his personal faith. None of these challenges to the author’s core beliefs have reaped life's rewards more than the previous 16 years. During this time Paul’s journey was not without turbulence, testing and serious tribulation. Contentment was relinquished for adversity, security exchanged for personal loss, while devastation and self-reliance were substituted for brokenness and surrender.
It was in the furnace of trial and testing Mr. Wickliffe discovered what true lordship and submission to Jesus Christ was all about. It was from the Bible’s promise that Christ would never leave him nor forsake him, coupled with the conviction that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God (as in the KJV), that God’s promises were put into relevant perspective. It is to these unforeseen challenges in the author’s life Christ's Holy Spirit has produced a need to know—in his personal future as well as the biblical fate that awaits mankind. Drawn from the crucible of personal turmoil and lack of direction, the author has been drawn to God’s prophetic promises regarding man, history and the consummation of all things.
Scattered throughout the book are the author’s beliefs. These beliefs have been, and continue to be, shaped by the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Although not exhaustive in their scope, these points nonetheless provide the reader a glimpse into the mind of the author and those points that help define his Christian faith. He will continue his spiritual journey through life because of Jesus' words and the indwelling Holy Spirit. The author’s beliefs are highlighted here for ease of reference.
The subject matter for "The Death of Socrates," by Jacques-Louis David has two other renowned Greek philosophers present in this picture. The man at the foot of Socrates' bed is Plato, while the man whose hand is steadfastly gripping Socrates left leg is Aristotle. While Socrates highlighted the injustices of Athenian society, the movers and shakers within Athenian culture saw Socrates' teaching as a threat to their established order, position and influence. The poison cup of hemlock the Athenian adept is about to partake, and the range of human emotion spawned from his impending death, have been masterfully captured by an artist who was himself a keen student of human nature with its mental complexities, emotional nuances and individual idiosyncrasies. Like all men, whether consciously aware of it or not, Socrates sense of justice was unequivocally influenced by his understanding of the God of the Hebrews, as well as the Holy Spirit's influence. Certainly having heard of Daniel's influence on numerous kings and empires, as well as the prophet's predictive utterances, Socrates was aware of Daniel's prophecies regarding the great Macedonian general Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.), long before Alexander the Great was conceived. Until the age of 16, Alexander the Great was tutored by Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), student of Socrates and contemporary of Plato.
Georg Hegel, 1770-1881, is the individual generally credited with spreading the concept of thesis+antithesis=synthesis. Hegel, like Kant, rejected supernaturalism. This supernaturalism for Hegel was not the unseen dimension existing outside the physical, but the conceptual abstractionism of man’s ‘reason.’ Hegel’s ‘supernatural’ source therefore found its roots from within man and therefore rejected the premise of a belief in the supernatural as well as truth existing outside and beyond men.
Georg Hegel, a protégé of Socrates, advocated the Socratic dialectic for contemporary history through his absolute idealism. Absolute idealism is not really absolute. It changes. It is dynamic and fluid. It is what the liberals would term progressive—ever changing (II Timothy 3:7—Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.) It is also grounded in evolution and the progression of being. This evolution of being is also reflected in a progression of consciousness. Hegel’s contradictions of nature and freedom, as well as immanence and transcendence result from the philosopher’s flawed view of himself. Hegel's view of himself, and others, can be contrasted (juxtaposed) to the Bible's view of man; his nature, purpose and destiny. Another point of comparison between Hegel and the Bible can be found in God’s temporal, physical creation and its distinction from the eternal and spiritual. While the whole creation has been tainted by man’s sin and disobedience, we understand there is no evidence of freedom as long as sin, decay, and death are the laws presently observed in nature. With regards to immanence and transcendence, while God is intimately involved with his creation and can operate outside its confines, God in no way is subject or limited by his natural laws. God is NOT in the wind or the water or the rocks and clouds. As inanimate objects, these objects neither think, nor do they possess a soul as animism teaches. Neither is the God of the Bible pantheistic or indistinguishable from his material world. Believing in many gods, or polytheistic, Hegelian philosophy is not. Building upon Emmanuel Kant’s phenomenology of the spirit, this concept contained Kant’s “principles of sensibility,” or relating to one’s world through the senses. Hegel, like Kant, rejected supernaturalism. This supernaturalism for Hegel was not the unseen dimension existing outside the physical, but the conceptual abstractionism of man’s ‘reason.’ Hegel’s ‘supernatural’ source therefore found its roots from within man and therefore rejected the premise of a belief in the supernatural. This humanistic approach also found its way into a re-definition and ‘synthesis’ of the terms right and wrong. This philosophical doctrine of devils became highly influential and instrumental in producing a radically unbiblical interpretive approach toward scripture. The German Higher Critical Movement, and its approach to scripture, would replace God’s established standard, which was to compare scripture with scripture, as well as replace this eternal and inspired paradigm with the temporal and transient opinions of man’s subjective interpretation of the Bible. (II Peter 1:20, 21). God’s formula for understanding truth is by the Holy Spirit, comparing scripture with scripture, examining the context carefully and understanding the Bible to be independent of man, the observations of science, and man’s subjective opinions. Biblical truth, an alien concept existing outside the spiritual dimension of man and therefore independent of man, is indeed foreign to Socratic philosophy and humanist thinking. The Bible’s unchanging, transcendent truths were exchanged for man’s shifting wisdom. Out of this dialectic emerged a new way of scriptural translation and interpretation. Biblical literalism was exchanged for the dynamic equivalence of the liberals in which the translator, not the Holy Spirit, would tell the reader what the translator believed the inspired writers were saying.
Charles Darwin, 1809-1882, authored the quintessential book on humanism and a reaffirmation of atheism. Darwin's piece on evolution in his work entitled, On the Origin of Species, shifted the biblical model for man's origins from divine, to man's origin being left to chance. This work, as well as his voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle, also directed Darwin down the dark corridor of natural selection. This belief by Darwin says that as an organism interacts with its environment, differing biological traits will become evident. These biological traits are ultimately influenced by the inherent, or genomic, disposition of the organism. An ebb and flow, give and take interaction between the organism and its environment will affect the individual, while conversely the individual can impact, and even alter their surroundings to make survival possible. Those organisms which adapt to their habitat will see their offspring increase, while those unable to adapt will die out. Over time, only those who survive will be perceived as the fittest—this "survival of the fittest," a term coined by English sociologist Herbert Spencer, was the basis for adaptive evolution as well as the belief in racial superiority. Natural selection completely ignores the Bible's emphasis on man's relationship with his Creator, or lack thereof. Natural selection also fails to see that America's present condition does not rest on a biological, 'scientific' principle known as adaptive evolution, but on a moral crises precipitated by godless education/academia, the federalization of our school system, a man-centered redemptive paradigm, "separation of church and state," and a plethora of counterfeit 'bibles.' The Bible declares that the ancient peoples of the past disappeared not because of their failure to adapt to their environment, but because of their moral rebellion to the Almighty.
Darwin was a naturalist which meant he believed the universe came into being by chance, not because of an all knowing, powerful, ever-present, orderly, deliberate, and loving Creator, Jesus Christ. His atheistic notions are evident in his authored work, On the Origin of Species. The British scientist did not believe man was made in God’s image. Darwin believed man’s origins could be traced to common ancestors with their ‘missing links’: from amoeba, to fish, to apes, to man. In his notions regarding natural selection, or adaptive evolution, Darwin argued man was affected by his surroundings and upbringing to the point man could not be held totally responsible for his actions. This is in direct opposition to the Bible’s teaching that man is “without excuse” (Rom. 1:21) before his Creator. Darwin’s disavowing man from his actions added more fire to the psychological belief that man is a victim of his circumstances instead of the active, responsible agent in his destiny. While God may direct man’s steps, and election assures salvation to those God has chosen, man’s imaginations and thoughts condemn man nonetheless.
Karl Marx, 1818-1883, atheist/materialist/utopian as well as social engineer and proponent of the politically divisive "divide and conquer" and class warfare method of cultural revolution. The primary architect of The Communist Manifesto, along with his comrade in arms (confiscated firearms that is) Friedrich Engels.
Karl Marx’s graduated income tax, the establishment of a central banking system (i.e. the Federal Reserve with its debauched currency, its creation of artificial booms and busts, its worthless paper substitutes known as Federal Reserve Notes, ‘sandwich coins,’ corrupt monetary policy, etc.), federalization of the educational system (national brainwashing) and the like, are all intended to incrementally shift and strip power from independent civilized entities to a massive, centralized rule by a godless elite. In Marx’s utopian view he will be on top and everyone else will be on the bottom with no middle class having any opportunity of upward, social mobility. Marx and his disciples will stay in power by removing any physical opposition to rule (gun control). As they make their assent to power, Marxist propaganda will engage in lies, deception, twisting the facts and using class, race and gender as a means of pitting those groups against each other while Marxist’s, by stealth, come in and take over (the divide and conquer technique). Modern protégé's of Marxist ideology are many within the Democratically controlled Senate, President Barack Obama as well as many of the president’s cabinet appointees. While the Occupy Wall Street Movement is leftist in its demands for social justice, its real political identity can be more accurately described as anarchist, and to a lesser degree, Libertarian.