Slim Jim on Schaeffer

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 review below by Slim Jim 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.

Schaeffer on the Christian Life

Over the years there have been various books written on Francis Schaeffer, ranging from books reflecting on his life, discussion of his legacy to the critical evaluation of his apologetics. So why read another book on Francis Schaeffer, and particularly this book? What makes this work stand out among other books? What is unique about this book, is the author’s focus on the spiritual life of Francis Schaeffer, something the author argues was Schaeffer’s “most significant raison d’ete” that could be more thoroughly examined (Page 13). This work is not just a simple chronological presentation of historical facts from Schaeffer’s life; though Part one discusses the necessary biographical information of “the man and his times.” Rather the meat of the book is divided into two parts: (1) True Spirituality and (2) Trusting God for all of life. I enjoyed how the book captures Schaeffer’s spiritual life of embracing Biblical doctrines and a Spirit filled life. Schaeffer was a man who didn’t compromise with the fundamentals of the faith while at the same time he was able to truly love those who were lost and desiring their salvation. I’m particularly grateful for the author’s anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book of his personal knowledge of Francis Schaeffer and his family. Francis Schaeffer was used by the Lord to bring the author, William Edgar, to salvation when he was a young Harvard college student. Edgar is currently a professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, a testimony of the spiritual impact that Francis Schaeffer has made upon the author. Schaeffer did not always have everything accurate when it came to the details of philosophy and Edgar acknowledges this in his book. What I appreciated about this work is that Edgar was able to admit to Schaeffer’s imperfection without tarnishing the man or being nit-picky. In fact, I thought this further advanced the author’s thesis that Schaeffer’s spiritual life played a greater influence in his ministry than just philosophy or apologetics in of itself. As the author recounts: while not everyone necessarily came to faith after visiting Schaeffer’s L’Abri, no one doubts that Francis Schaeffer is a loving worldview evangelist with a pastoral heart. And in an age where doubt is encouraged as a virtue, that’s very telling. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Readers who are familiar with Cornelius Van Til and Hans Rookmaaker will also get a treat from Edgar’s perspective in his comparison and contrast of these men, and Schaeffer’s relationship to these men.

You can order the book on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Thank you Angie Cheatham at Crossway for proving me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

I ALSO ENJOYED READING THE COMMENTS BELOW:

16 Responses

  1. Bro SJ,

    When you said… “Schaeffer was a man who didn’t compromise with the fundamentals of the faith while at the same time he was able to truly love those who were lost and desiring their salvation”

    You said everything that needed ot be said about this great man of God. After all, isn’t this what serving the Lord is all about for all of us?

    Thanks for the review. Sounds like another interesting book. Lord bless you.

  2. I’ve wanted to read about Schaeffer for a while; I’m mostly ignorant other than generalities.

    I have a new project, and I shared your review there:

    http://www.covenantedreader.com/2013/06/veritas-domain-reviews-schaeffer-on.html
    :-D

    • I have not read as much Schaeffer in comparison with Clark and Van Til; my wife actually has read more of Schaeffer than I did and I think she has a book or two before completing his life’s work.
      Thanks for sharing the review on your new blog brother Justin!

  3. on June 11, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply Truth2Freedom

    Francis Schaffer was one of the first authors I read in the 80′s. John MacArthur mentioned: “True discernment has suffered a horrible setback in the past few decades because reason itself has been under attack within the church. As Francis Schaeffer warned nearly thirty years ago in The God Who Is There, the church is following the irrationality of secular philosophy. Consequently, reckless faith has overrun the evangelical community. Many are discarding doctrine in favor of personal experience.”

    MacArthur, J. (1994). Reckless faith: When the church loses its will to discern (19). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

  4. on June 11, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply Truth2Freedom

    Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom’s Blog.

  5. How did the author, William Edgar, become a Christian? Did he meet Francis Schaeffer or read one of Shaeffer’s work while he was at Harvard?

    • Thanks for dropping by G-Knee! Good question! William Edgar in Harvard had a TA who was a Christian name Harold Brown (who later also became a professor!) who told the young undergraduate student to go to Switzerland for the summer and meet Francis Schaeffer. This was during the 60s when people would like to visit communes and seek new ideas and all, so William Edgar visited and got saved right away. Later on Edgar did invited Schaeffer to Harvard to speak as an apologist!

  6. Has there been much biographies written on Shaeffer? What is your favorite book written by Shaeffer and which book would you recommend new believers.

    • Julie, thanks for dropping by! There’s a few biography on him. One is “Francis A. Schaeffer: Portraits of the Man and His Work” edited by Lane Dennis which is a collection of reflections of those who have been shaped by him; another is Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life by Colin Duriez and also Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer by Bryan A. Follis. I think there might still be more out there! I think for new believers I would recommend his book, “True Spirituality” and “Art and the Bible.”

  7. Thank you SLIMJIM! Cool, you got a free book. I believe there is a management company named after Schaeffer’s L’Abri.

Francis Schaeffer

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