Responding to Oppenneimer and Lizza:Defending Francis Schaeffer’s influence on believers such as Michele Bachmann(Part 9)

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.

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The Great Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer’s Son, Franky Schaeffer, Slams Conservative Evangelical Christians on MSNBC Like Never Before – Is He Right?

July 7, 2011 5:45 AM
In a segment on the religiosity of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, MSNBC’s Richard Lui on Wednesday looked to an author who has smeared conservative Christians as “radical,” weird individuals who “hate” America.
The guest host for Martin Bashir interviewed Frank Schaeffer, a blogger on the liberal Huffington Post website and also a constant critic of the religious right. Schaeffer, the son of a conservative theologian, excoriated conservatives: “But, I came to understand that these people actually hate the United States as it is.”
Lui never pointed out Schaeffer’s liberal leanings or his endorsement of Barack Obama in 2008. The author and blogger warned of apocalyptic dangers, should Bachmann be elected president: “She comes from a wing of the evangelical movement where takes the Bible literally, and that includes the Old Testament that has passages about stoning gay people to death and all the rest of it.”
Apparently, if the Republican Congresswoman wins the White House, she “would produce a theocracy in the country where the Bible would be paramount and no longer the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.”
Lui didn’t call Schaeffer on his apparent contradiction. Just a few minutes after the above quote, the writer suggested that when Christian Republican candidates come into office, “the only people they actually serve is Wall Street, and- and- and so really the social issues are a red herring…”
Schaeffer was appearing, partly, to promote his book, “Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics–and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway.” (Lui awkwardly read the whole title.)
In July of 2010, Schaeffer, whose family helped promote the pro-life movement in the ’70s, asserted that some of the “nuttiest” evangelicals support Israel.

E P I S O D E 9

How Should We Then Live 9#1

T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce

I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought

II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads to Pessimism

Regarding a Meaning for Life and for Fixed Values

A. General acceptance of selfish values (personal peace and affluence) accompanied rejection of Christian consensus.

1. Personal peace means: I want to be left alone, and I don’t care what happens to the man across the street or across the world. I want my own life-style to be undisturbed regardless of what it will mean — even to my own children and grandchildren.

2. Affluence means things, things, things, always more things — and success is seen as an abundance of things.

B. Students wish to escape meaninglessness of much of adult society.

1. Watershed was Berkeley in 1964.

2. Drug Taking as an ideology: “turning on” the world.

3. Free Speech Movement on Sproul Plaza.

a) At first neither Left nor Right.

b) Soon became the New Left.

(1) Followed Marcuse.

(2) Paris riots.

4. Student analysis of problem was right, but solution wrong.

5. Woodstock, Altamont, and the end of innocence.

6. Drug taking survives the death of ideology but as an escape.

7. Demise of New Left: radical bombings.

8. Apathy supreme. The young accept values of the older generation: their own idea of personal peace and affluence, even though adopting a different life-style.

C. Marxism and Maoism as pseudo-ideals.

1. Vogue for idealistic communism which is another form of leap into the area of non-reason.

2. Solzhenitsyn: violence and expediency as norms of communism.

3. Communist repression in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

4. Communism has neither philosophic nor historic base for freedom. There is no base for “Communism with a human face.”

5. Utopian Marxism steals its talk of human dignity from Christianity.

6. But when it comes to power, the desire of majority has no meaning.

7. Two streams of communism.

a) Those who hold it as an idealistic leap.

b) Old-line communists who hold orthodox communist ideology and bureaucratic structure as it exists in Russia.

8. Many in West might accept communism if it seemed to give peace and affluence.

III. Legal and Political Results of Attempted Human Autonomy

A. Relativistic law.

1. Base for nonarbitrary law gone; only inertia allows a few principles to survive.

2. Holmes and sociological (variable) law.

3. Sociological law comes from failure of natural law (see evolution of existential from rationalistic theology).

4. Courts are now generating law.

5. Medical, legal, and historical arbitrariness of Supreme Court ruling on abortion and current abortion practice.

B. Sociological law opens door to racism, abrogation of freedoms,  euthanasia, and so on.

IV. Social Alternatives After Death of Christian Consensus

A. Hedonism? But might is right when pleasures conflict.

B. Without external absolute, majority vote is absolute. But this justifies a Hitler.

V. Conclusion

A. If there is no absolute by which to judge society, then society is absolute.

B. Humanist thinking—making the individual and mankind the center of all things (autonomous) — has led to death in our culture and in our political life.

Note: Social alternatives after the death of Christian consensus are continued in Episode Ten.

Questions

1. What was the basic cause of campus unrest in the sixties? What has happened to the campus scene since, and why?

2. What elements — in the life and thought of the communist and noncommunist world alike — suggest a possible base for world agreement?

3. “To prophesy doom about Western society is premature. We are, like all others who have lived in times of great change, too close to the details to see the broader picture. One thing we do know:

Society has always gone on, and the most wonderful epochs have followed the greatest depressions. To suggest that our day is the exception says more about our headache than it does about our head.” Debate.

4. As Dr. Schaeffer shows, many apparently isolated events and options gain new meaning when seen in the context of the whole. How far does your own involvement in business, law, financing, and so on reveal an acquiescence to current values?

Key Events and Persons

Oliver Wendell Holmes: 1841-1935

Herbert Marcuse: 1898-1979

Alexander Solzhenitsyn: 1917-

Hungarian Revolution: 1956

Free Speech Movement: 1964

Czechoslovakian repression: 1968

Woodstock and Altamont: 1969

Radical bombings: 1970

Supreme Court abortion ruling: 1973

Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago: 1973-74

Further Study

Keeping one’s eyes and ears open is the most useful study project: the prevalence of pornographic films and books, more and more suggestive advertising and TV shows, and signs of arbitrary absolutes.

The following books will repay careful reading, and Solzhenitsyn, though long and horrifying, should not be skipped.

Os Guinness, The Dust of Death (1973).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: Parts I-II (1973), Parts III-IV (1974).

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