Article on Francis Schaeffer by Fred Sanders

Article on Francis Schaeffer by Fred Sanders

Episode 8: The Age Of Fragmentation

Published on Jul 24, 2012

Dr. Schaeffer’s sweeping epic on the rise and decline of Western thought and Culture

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I love the works of Francis Schaeffer and I have been on the internet reading several blogs that talk about Schaeffer’s work and the work below   by Fred Sanders was really helpful. Schaeffer’s film series “How should we then live?  Wikipedia notes, “According to Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live traces Western history from Ancient Rome until the time of writing (1976) along three lines: the philosophic, scientific, and religious.[3] He also makes extensive references to art and architecture as a means of showing how these movements reflected changing patterns of thought through time. Schaeffer’s central premise is: when we base society on the Bible, on the infinite-personal God who is there and has spoken,[4] this provides an absolute by which we can conduct our lives and by which we can judge society.  Here are some posts I have done on this series: Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age”  episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” .

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer

Today is Francis Schaeffer’s Birthday

January 30, 2009 By

Francis Schaeffer Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) has been gone for a quarter of a century now, and responsible evaluation of his impact on Christian culture is just getting underway. Two major biographies have been published recently: Barry Hankins’ Francis Schaeffer and the Shaping of Evangelical America (Eerdmans, 2009) and Colin Duriez’s Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life (Crossway, 2008).

Perhaps the evangelical culture at large has passed through some of the same stages I passed through in appreciating Schaeffer. When a friend gave me my first Francis Schaeffer book (How Should We Then Live), it knocked my socks off so far that I had to read it barefoot. This author exuded passion and confidence as he opined about Michelangelo, John Cage, Thomas Aquinas, and the Beatles. He was full of wonder about all these things that I had never heard a Christian critic talking about, and he read the world as if every cultural artifact were a clue that led inexorably to solving his big presuppositional apologetic crime of the century. Here was a renaissance man who could explain Renaissance Man.

Then as I studied more of these things myself, I began to see how tendentious many of Schaeffer’s interpretations were. Whereas at first I had been forced to take his word for it, as I became more familiar with art and philosophy and culture, I was able to render independent judgments on my own, and compare them to his. He hadn’t quite grasped what Aquinas was up to, had he? And the way he described Kant… peculiar. Was cubism really all about the dissolving of form? Had he actually read a single page of Karl Barth, or did he just dismiss him unread? And so on. I think my first judgments about all those things had been pretty facile, and as I refined and developed my understanding, I imputed my facile judgments to Schaeffer’s bold simplifications and generalizations, and told myself I had outgrown Francis Schaeffer.

But when I finally pulled the dusty volumes of Schaeffer’s books back down from the shelf, I had to admit this was still powerful stuff. Anybody who moved as nimbly as Schaeffer over so much territory was bound to work by intuition and rough-and-ready summary. For what it is, this is great stuff. He was fundamentally right about existentialism in its many guises, wasn’t he? And that actually did explain a lot of modern art and music –not all of it, but a lot. Time after time, Schaeffer scored direct hits and said what mattered most for his audience:

It is not more spiritual to believe without asking questions. It is not more biblical. It is less biblical and eventually it will be less spiritual, because the whole man will not be involved… It must be the whole man who comes to understand that the gospel is truth and believes because he is convinced on the basis of good and sufficient reason that it is truth.

I think Schaeffer’s published work continues to speak to new audiences today, and the many students whose lives were changed by personal interaction with him continue to be important influences in the world.

Related posts:

Francis Schaeffer’s wife Edith passes away on Easter weekend 2013 Part 7 (includes pro-life editorial cartoon)

The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story Pt.1 – Today’s Christian Videos The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story – Part 3 of 3 Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ Picture of Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith from the […]

The Mark of the Christian by Francis Schaeffer Part 1

  THE MARK OF A CHRISTIAN – CLASS 1 – Introduction Published on Mar 7, 2012 This is the introductory class on “The Mark Of A Christian” by Francis Schaeffer. The class was originally taught at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, KS by Dan Guinn from FrancisSchaefferStudies.org as part of the adult Sunday School hour […]

Francis Schaeffer’s wife Edith passes away on Easter weekend 2013 Part 6 (includes pro-life editorial cartoon and tribute from son-in-law Ranald Macaulay)

The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story Pt.1 – Today’s Christian Videos The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story – Part 3 of 3 Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ Picture of Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith from the […]

Francis Schaeffer’s wife Edith passes away on Easter weekend 2013 Part 5 (includes pro-life editorial cartoon)

The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story Pt.1 – Today’s Christian Videos The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story – Part 3 of 3 Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ Picture of Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith from the […]

Francis Schaeffer’s wife Edith passes away on Easter weekend 2013 Part 4 (includes pro-life editorial cartoon)

The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story Pt.1 – Today’s Christian Videos The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story – Part 3 of 3 Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ Picture of Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith from the […]

Francis Schaeffer’s wife Edith passes away on Easter weekend 2013 Part 3 (includes pro-life editorial cartoon)

The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story Pt.1 – Today’s Christian Videos The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story – Part 3 of 3 Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ Picture of Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith from the […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning humanist dominated public schools in USA even though country was founded on a Christian base

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” (Episode 2) SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis The 45 minute video above is from the film series created from Francis Schaeffer’s book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” with Dr. C. Everett Koop. This book  really helped develop my political views concerning […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning where the Bible-believing Christians been the last few decades

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis The 45 minute video above is from the film series created from Francis Schaeffer’s book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” with Dr. C. Everett Koop. This book  really helped develop my political views […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part E “Moral absolutes and abortion” Francis Schaeffer Quotes part 5(includes the film SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS) (editorial cartoon)

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning religious liberals and humanists

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 5) TRUTH AND HISTORY Published on Oct 7, 2012 by AdamMetropolis The 45 minute video above is from the film series created from Francis Schaeffer’s book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” with Dr. C. Everett Koop. This book  really helped develop my political views concerning abortion, […]

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