Remembering Francis Schaeffer at 100 (Part 1)

 

schaeffer

This year Francis Schaeffer would have turned 100 on Jan 30, 2012. I remember like yesterday when I first was introduced to his books. I was even more amazed when I first saw his films. I was so influenced by them that I bought every one of his 30 something books and his two film series. Here is a tribute that I got off the internet from Chuck Colson’s website www.breakpoint.org :

Remembering Francis Schaeffer
By T. M. Moore|Published Date: January 31, 2012

The summer of 1974 saw me deep into the first theological crisis of my life. I was in Lausanne, Switzerland, as a seminarian, participating in the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. My first year in seminary had convinced me that the Reformed faith was entirely correct and every other expression of Christianity was, if not altogether wrong, then at least sorely lacking.

I should have read Helmut Thielicke’s A Little Exercise for Young Theologians before heading to Switzerland, but, alas, I did not.I went to Lausanne determined to “reform” the whole crowd. The Lord had other ideas, however, concerning who needed the reforming. He boarded me with 36 African Pentecostals, most of whom spoke no English. I was the only Westerner in our dorm, but they welcomed me with love and friendliness and made me feel a part of their prayers and fellowship for the entire time we were together.

How could this be, I wondered, given that these folks aren’t “Reformed”?

During the course of that conference I met many lovely believers from a wide range of communions, and all of them seemed truly to love Jesus, to be happy to meet me, and to want above all else to see lost people come to faith. Now my struggle intensified. How could I be so theologically correct, and yet so inferior in devotion, conviction, and evangelical passion to everybody I met?

Worse, admitting that I had a lot to learn (to say the least), how could I connect with people who did not share my Reformed convictions so that I could actually learn from them and join in ministry with them – and still keep my “doctrine pure”?

I’d heard Francis Schaeffer at one of the seminars give a passionate plea for taking the Christian worldview to the unbelieving culture and its lost advocates. He seemed fairly to be weeping with conviction, yet there was tremendous power in his exhortation. Toward the end of the conference I arrived one evening at the lecture hall, at my wits end and as depressed as I’d ever been. I needed to sort out my confusion and overcome my pride so that I could get on with growing in the Lord and serving in His Kingdom. I sat in the back of the foyer musing, when suddenly the thought occurred to me, “If I could just chat with Francis Schaeffer, he could help me sort this out.”

At that precise moment, Dr. Schaeffer walked in the door. I may have been immature in my faith and arrogant in my theology, but I wasn’t stupid. I took this opportunity as from the Lord, walked up to Dr. Schaeffer and introduced myself, and asked if he had just a few minutes to talk with me about a matter.

He smiled and we went to a side room where, for the next hour – an hour! – Francis Schaeffer helped me understand the nature of the Body of Christ, the calling to ministry, and the importance of focusing on Jesus as I had never understood before. It is not an exaggeration to say that those 60 minutes changed my life forever.

So I’m very pleased, along with Chuck, to remember Francis Schaeffer in this the 100th anniversary of his birth. Check out the resources and activities below, and see what you can learn from this great leader of the previous generation.

Resources for this topic

Bing Davis, “Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer
Barry Hankins, “Francis Schaeffer and the Shaping of Evangelicals” (podcast)
Peggy J. Haslar, “Francis Schaeffer’s Double-edged Ethic
Todd Kappelman, “The Need to Read: Francis Schaeffer
Fred Sanders, “Come, Christian Triune God Who Lives

Francis Schaeffer was one of the great defenders of the faith of the previous generation. You can order this Trilogy of his most seminal works and discover the power of a reasonable faith all over again. 

Next steps:

1. Read the articles above. Do you think you would benefit from reading some of the works of Francis Schaeffer? Share a couple of the articles with a friend or two, and challenge them to join you in reading one of Schaeffer’s fundamental works. I would recommend either True Spirituality or Escape from Reason.

2. Have any of your church leaders read Francis Schaeffer? Ask around – pastors, elders, teachers. See if you can find some who have read him, and see what they’ve learned. For each one who has not read him, make a copy of a couple of the articles listed above and encourage them to read about this great apologist and worldview thinker.

3. Email today’s Talking Points column to several Christian friends. Challenge them to read some of the resources, watch the Two-Minute Warning, and take on one of the activities.

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E P I S O D E 1 0 How Should We Then Live 10#1 FINAL CHOICES I. Authoritarianism the Only Humanistic Social Option One man or an elite giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes. A. Society is sole absolute in absence of other absolutes. B. But society has to be led by an elite: John Kenneth [...]

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

E P I S O D E 8 How Should We Then Live 8#1 I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Degas) and Post-Impressionism (Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, [...]

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

E P I S O D E 7 How Should We Then Live 7#1 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 [...]

Francis Schaeffer would be 100 years old this year (Schaeffer Sunday)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Extra – Interview – Part 2 Francis Schaeffer had a big impact on me in the late 1970′s and I have been enjoying his books and films ever since. Here is great video clip of an interview and below is a fine article about him. Francis Schaeffer 1912-1984 Christian Theologian, Philosopher, [...]

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

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 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: [...]

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

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live 5-1 I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there was a unique improvement. A. [...]

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

How Should We Then Live 4-1 I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to how to be right with [...]

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

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

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” (Schaeffer Sundays)

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 [...]

Andy Rooney was an atheist

How Now Shall We LiveClick here to purchase Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey’s How Now Shall We Live?, dedicated to Francis Schaeffer.


Click here for a list of Francis Schaeffer’s greatest works, from the Colson Center store!
SchaefferBooks

A conversation starter

Here’s a conversation starter you can try out with some friends: “Francis Schaeffer was instrumental in the past generation in helping to promote the idea of a Christian worldview. Have any of you read anything by him? Would you like to join together and read one of his works?” 

How Now Shall We LiveClick here to purchase Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey’s How Now Shall We Live?, dedicated to Francis Schaeffer

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