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, and Missionary

by Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003

( Last updated: 09/02/2010 18:08:13)

One of the greatest Christian thinkers of the 20th century, Francis Schaeffer, was born January 30, 1912 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. He was the only son of a tradesman and grew up in a Christian home. However, during his years as an adolescent he rejected Christianity and became an agnostic. In his senior year of high school he began reading the Bible in search of answers, and months later he converted to Christianity at a tent meeting held by Anthony Zeoli. After graduating high school he enrolled in night school to study mechanical engineering. However, he soon decided he wanted to enter the ministry so he enrolled in Hampden Sydney College. During his time there he met his future wife Edith Seville, who was the daughter of missionaries working with China Inland Mission. In 1935 he graduated magna cum laude and that same summer he married Edith Seville. Together they had four children, Janet Priscilla born in 1938, Susan born in 1941, Deborah born in 1945, and Francis August Schaeffer V in 1952. After graduating college Schaeffer enrolled in Westminster Theological Seminary where he studied with Cornelius Van Til and J. Gresham Machen. Then in 1937 he transferred to Faith Theological Seminary where he became the first student to graduate from the seminary and ordained as a minister of the Bible Presbyterian Church. From there he went on to serve as a pastor.

After graduating from Faith Theological Seminary Schaeffer served as the pastor for churches in Grove City and Chester, Pennsylvania and then later went on to serve in St. Louis, Missouri. During those years he left the Bible Presbyterian Church and joined the Reformed Presbyterian Church. In 1947 he was sent to Europe as a representative for the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. His job was to survey the state of the churches in countries affected by World War II. In 1948 he moved the family to Switzerland to serve as missionaries. In 1954 Schaeffer severed ties with the board due to conflicts in emphasis in missionary work. That same year he was awarded the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Highland College. A year later he and his wife Edith opened up their home to become L’Abri, which is the French word for shelter. L’Abri became an international spiritual retreat center where people could come to study and discuss Christian thought, lifestyle, and goals. L’Abri was opened to be a center for authentic Christian community. People came from all over to talk to Schaeffer and ask difficult philosophical questions. Several years after the opening of L’Abri, Schaeffer received the honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Gordon College. Then in 1979 he began L’Abri in America. During his last few years of life, Schaeffer spent his time writing books and encouraging Christians to be active in the fight against abortion. He died of cancer May 15, 1984 in his home.

Francis Schaeffer is most famous for his writings and for the establishment of L’Abri community in Switzerland. He wrote twenty two books on topics ranging from the Christian view of philosophy and culture, the inerrancy of the Bible, the Christian view of spirituality and the church, and the Christian view of the west. Some of his works include The God Who Is There, A Christian Manifesto, and How Should We Then Live?. He is often credited for sparking a return to political activism among Protestant evangelicals and fundamentalists. He has been cited numerous times in works by other Christians and is considered to be one of the greatest Christian thinkers of the 20th century alongside C.S. Lewis.

Matthew 7:7 says “Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” That is exactly what Francis Schaeffer did. He sought after the truth and found it. Ever since that time Schaeffer sought the truth as a senior in high school, he has aided thousands of other people in their search for truth. Instead of ignoring the difficult questions he sought answers and found them. Francis Schaeffer demonstrated that Christianity is not a blind faith without valid reasons for what it believes, but rather that Biblical Christianity is the only worldview compatible with reality. He also demonstrated what Christian community really looks like through the L’Abri communities. President Ronald Reagan summed up Francis Schaeffer’s life nicely when he said “It can rarely be said of an individual that his life touched many others and affected them for the better; it will be said of Dr. Francis Schaeffer that his life touched millions of souls and brought them to the truth of their Creator.”

Sources

“Francis Schaeffer” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Schaeffer

“Francis Schaeffer biography” at http://www.heroesofhistory.com/page57.html

“Francis Schaeffer biography” at http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/GUIDES/220.htm

“Francis Schaeffer biography” at ttp://members.aol.com/JAMIETAMPA/Schaeffer/index2.html

“Francis Schaeffer” at http://prayerfoundation.org/books/book_r19.jpg

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