Remembering Francis Schaeffer at 100 (Part 9)

THE FRANCIS SCHAEFFER CENTENNIAL – SCHAEFFER’S CULTURAL APOLOGETIC PT 1 – DONALD WILLAIMS

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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. Chuck Colson’s website www.breakpoint.org  and I was directed from there to Probe’s website where I found this great article below. I will share it in 4 parts. Todd Kappelman is the author and here is some info on him and Probe.

Todd KappelmanTodd A. Kappelman is a field associate with Probe Ministries. He is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University (B.A. and M.A.B.S., religion and Greek), and the University of Dallas (M.A., philosophy/humanities). Currently he is pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Dallas. He has served as assistant director of the Trinity Institute, a study center devoted to Christian thought and inquiry. He has been the managing editor of The Antithesis, a bi-monthly publication devoted to the critique of foreign and independent film. His central area of expertise is Continental philosophy (especially nineteenth and twentieth century) and postmodern thought.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe’s materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565
info@probe.org
www.probe.org
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This is the third part:

The Need to Read: Francis Schaeffer Print E-mail

Todd Kappelman Written by Todd Kappelman

The Need to Read series began several months ago with a program on C.S. Lewis . The rationale for this series is that many of the great writers who have helped many Christians mature are now either unknown or neglected by many who could use these authors insights into the faith.

This installment focuses on Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984), one of the most recognized and respected Christian authors of the twentieth century.

Escape from Reason

In The God Who Is There, Schaeffers main thesis is that modern man is characterized by his willingness to live a life of contradictions. In the book Escape from Reason, he shows how we arrived at this position, and what can be done about it.

Francis Schaeffer believed that one of the great watershed periods of human history occurred in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The Reformation was a fifteenth and sixteenth century movement, but it was religious in nature and ultimately resulted in the formation of the Protestant churches. The Renaissance, argues Schaeffer, largely emphasized human reason and the achievements of man. In sharp contrast, the Reformation emphasized the will of God and the authority of the Holy Scriptures. It must be remembered that Schaeffer is generalizing in much of what is said here and that both movements had good and bad aspects.

Schaeffer maintains that men in the Renaissance believed they were great because of the wonderful art, literature, and architecture they produced. The Reformation man believed he was great because of the God who had made him. Man was made to have a relationship with his creator, but the Renaissance man found himself more and more concerned with the things of this world.{5}

As the emphasis on man increased, the importance of God decreased. This movement was further facilitated by discoveries in the sciences which allowed man to understand the universe on purely naturalistic principles. The result of mans success in explaining some aspects of the universe through reason alone was that he began to try to explain every aspect of the universe through reason alone.

Men found that they were able to explain much through reason, but the larger philosophical questions proved to be too great. In addition, they discovered that there were many questions that could not be answered by reason alone. Some of these questions were: How did everything begin? Why is there something rather than nothing? What happens to us after we die? These questions are traditionally answered by theology, and the answers usually included an appeal to a divine being called God.

Modern man, thus, was faced with two possibilities. Either he could return to the answers found in the Scriptures, or he could live as though life had meaning even though he did not believe that it really did.{6} Schaeffer argued that men in the Western philosophical tradition largely opted for irrational existence, escaping the requirements of reason, hence the title Escape from Reason. Schaeffers conclusion to this problem is that Christians must return to a serious belief in the Scriptures and their ability to answer the big philosophical problems, and that we must live our faith consistently in front of the world.{7} In addition, Schaeffer believed that the days are gone when the average man on the street would respond to the Gospel. The language has changed, and we must learn to speak in this new language.{8} We must educate ourselves and be ready to give an account of how modern man got into his present state of affairs.

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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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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)

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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: […]

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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 […]

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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!
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