“We don’t have forever” by Francis Schaeffer from 1980

“We don’t have forever” by Francis Schaeffer from 1980

The Scientific Age

Uploaded by  on Oct 3, 2011

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

_______________________

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   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

The Francis Schaeffer Papers:

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Francis       August Schaeffer Papers [Early Ministry]

Manuscript Collection       # 29

Box#  134

Content Summary: The       Francis A. Schaeffer Papers consist mainly of correspondence with leaders       of the Bible Presbyterian Church [BPC] denomination and its Midwest Presbytery,       during the time that Schaeffer was pastor of the First Bible Presbyterian       Church, St. Louis, MO, and moderator of Midwest Presbytery.
Significant correspondents include J.O. Buswell, Jr., R.H. Cox, Thomas.G.       Cross, R.Laird Harris, R. Hastings, G.J. Holdcroft, Robert G. Rayburn, and       Peter Stam. The collection also includes a copy of The New Modernism       and the Bible, by Francis Schaeffer, an address given at the Second       Plenary Congress of the International Council of Christian Churches, Geneva,       Switzerland, 1950.
Bibliography of Schaeffer’s Published Works,       1968 – 1985

Span Dates: 1943 – 1947

Size: 1 cu. ft.

Access Restrictions: None

Collection Citation: Schaeffer,       Francis A., Papers, Box __, Folder __: item description, PCA Historical       Center, St. Louis, MO.

Collection Highlights:

  • 1943 – The Fundamentalist           Christian and Anti-Semitism
  • 1948 – A Review           of a Review [Schaeffer sets out his apologetic method]
  • 1974 – A Step Forward           [Schaeffer’s observations on the formation of the PCA]
  • 1980 – We Don’t Have Forever [on the twin           commands to purity and love in the Church]
  • 1982 – A Day of Sober Rejoicing [On           the reception of the RPCES into the PCA]Biographical Sketch: Francis August Schaeffrer           was born January 30, 1912, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, became a Christian           in 1930 at the age of eighteen, and graduated magna cum laude from Hampden-Sydney           College, VA in June, 1935. He married Edith Seville on July 26, 1935.           They had three daughters and one son, born between 1937 and 1951. Schaeffer           entered Westminster Theological Seminary in 1935 and transferred to           the newly formed Faith Theological Seminary in 1937, graduating from           there in 1938.
    Following graduation, he was by some accounts the first person ordained           by the Bible Presbyterian Church and became pastor of the Covenant Presbyterian           Church in Grove City, PA. In 1941 he was elected moderator of the Great           Lakes Presbytery [BPC] and began serving as associate pastor of the           Bible Presbyterian Church in Chester, PA. From 1943 to 1947, he pastored           First Bible Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO, and served as moderator           of the Midwest Presbytery [BPC].
    During this time Schaeffer and his wife founded the Children for Christ           ministry in St. Louis, which soon became widely adopted by other evangelical           churches. In 1947 he traveled throughout Europe as a representative           of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions and as the           American Secretary for the Foreign Relations Department of the American           Council of Christian Churches. In 1948 he moved with his family to Lausanne,           Switzerland to begin mission work, and moved the following year to Champery,           Switzerland, where he wrote Basic Bible Studies.
    In 1953 he returned to the United States on furlough and began an extensive           speaking tour. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree           in 1954 by Highland College in Long Beach, CA. Later that same year,           he returned to Switzerland and moved to Huemoz, Switzerland. By 1955           he had resigned from the mission board and began L’Abri Fellowship,           which became the primary focus of his life. In 1971 he received the           honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Gordon College, Wenham, MA.
    Work began in 1974 on the book and film versions of one of his more           well-known works, How Shall We Then Live?, during which time           he also helped to found the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy.           The film series Whatever Happened to the Human Race? was also           underway by 1977. Dr. Schaeffer was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in           1978, which made necessary a move of the American headquarters of L’Abri           to Rochester, MN to better allow for the continued conducting of seminars           on both film series while undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the           Mayo Clinic.
    In 1981 he reedited and pubished The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer.           The Simon Greenleaf School of Law awarded him an honorary Doctor           of Laws degree in 1983, but he was forced to return in critical condition           from Switzerland to the Mayo Clinic. Despite the debilitating illness,           he was able in 1984 to complete The Great Evangelical Disaster and           a seminar tour. On May 15, 1984, he died at his home in Rochester, MN           and was buried at Oakwood Cemetary in Rochester.

    Click here to read the Memorial for           Dr. Schaeffer, from the Minutes of Missouri Presbytery (PCA), July 20,           1984
    Click here to read the Memorial for Dr. Schaeffer from the Minutes of Philadelphia Presbytery (PCA), 15 September 1984

“We Don’t Have Forever,”         by Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer: 
The following transcript was recently provided by the courtesy         of Jeff Lawrence of Montgomery, AL. It originally was printed in the PCA         Messenger in 1980:

(Francis A. Schaeffer, founder of the L’Abri Fellowship,         author of 21 books, and principal in the “How Should We Then Live?”         and “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” film-seminar series,         was the featured speaker at the 1980 “Consultation on Presbyterian         Alternatives” sponsored by the Presbyterian Church in America. His         counsel, excerpted here from the full transcript of his Pittsburgh messages,         was heard by participants from several Presbyterian communions.)

Two biblical principles must be practiced simultaneously,         at each step of the way, if we are to be really Bible-believing Christians.          One is the principle of the practice of the purity of the visible church.          The other is the principle of an observable love among all true Christians.

Those of us who left the old Presbyterian Church USA (the         “Northern” Church) 44 years ago made mistakes which marked the         movement for years to come.  The second principle often was not practiced.         In particular we often failed to manifest an observable love for the fellow         believers who stayed in that denomination when others of us left.

Things were said which are very difficult to forget even         more than 40 years later.  The periodicals of those who left tended to         spend more time attacking the real Christians who stayed in the old denomination         than in dealing with the liberals.  Those who came out at times refused         to pray with those who had not come out.  Many who left totally broke         off all forms of fellowship with true brothers in Christ who did not come         out.

What was destroyed was Christ’s command to love each other.          And what was left was often a turning inward, a self-righteousness, a         hardness, and, too often, a feeling that withdrawal had made those who         came out so right that anything they did could be excused.

Further, having learned these bad habits, they later treated         each other badly when the new groups had minor differences among themselves.

We cannot stress both of the principles simultaneously         in the flesh.  Sometimes we stress purity without love.  Or we can stress         love without purity.  In order to stress both simultaneously we must look         moment to moment to the work of Christ and to the work of the Holy Spirit.          Without this, a stress on purity becomes hard, proud, and legalistic.          Without this, a stress on love becomes compromise. Spirituality begins         to have real meaning in our lives as we begin to exhibit (and the emphasis         here is on exhibit, not just talk) simultaneously the holiness of God         and the love of God.  Without our exhibition of both, our marvelous God         and Lord is not set forth.  Rather, a caricature is set forth and He is         dishonored.

We paid a terrible price for what happened in those early         days.  As some of you now come out of your denominations, please do learn         from our mistakes.  Each pastor, each congregation must be led by the         Holy Spirit.  If some disappoint you, do not turn bitter.

One of the joys of my life occurred at the Lausanne Congress         (the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne,         Switzerland). Some men from the newly formed Presbyterian Church in America         asked me to attend a meeting they and others had called there. When I         arrived I found that it was made up of Southern men who had just left         the Presbyterian Church US to form the PCA and some Christians who were         still in the PCUS. Someone from each side spoke. Both said to me that         the meeting was possible because of my voice and especially my little         book, The Church Before the Watching World (published by InterVarsity         Press). I must say I could have wept, and perhaps I did. It is possible         for us to do better than we would naturally do. It is not possible if         we ignore the fleshly dangers and fail to look to our living Lord for         his strength and grace.

Those of us who left our old denomination in the Thirties         had another great problem, as I see it. It was confusion over where to         place the basic chasm which marks off who we are. Does that chasm mark         us as those who are building Bible-believing churches and that on this         side of the chasm we hold the distinctives of being Presbyterian and Reformed?         Or is the primary chasm that we are Presbyterian and Reformed and that         we are divided from all who are not? The answer makes a great deal of         difference.

When we go to a town to start a church, are we going there         with the primary motivation to build a church which is loyal to Presbyterians         and the Reformed faith, or are we going there to build a church which         will preach the Gospel which historic, Bible-believing Christianity holds,         and then on this side of that chasm teach that which we believe is true         to the Bible in regard to church government and doctrine? The difference         makes a difference to our mentality, to our motivation, and to the breadth         of our outreach. I must say, to me one view is catholic, biblical and         gives good promise of success; the other is introverted and self-limiting,         yes, and sectarian. I spoke of a good promise of success. I mean on two         levels: First in church growth and a healthy outlook among those we reach;         second, in providing leadership in the whole church of Christ.

We alone do not face this problem of putting the chasm         at the wrong place, of course. A too zealous mentality on the Lutheran         view of the sacraments is the same. A too sectarian mentality in regard         to the mode of baptism is another. The zeal of the Plymouth Brethren for         an unpaid ministry is often the same. No, it is not just our problem.         But it is our problem. To put the chasm in the wrong place is to fail         to fulfill our calling, and I am convinced that when we do so we displease         our Lord.

Those who remain in the old-line churches have their own         set of problems. In contrast to the problem of hardness to which those         who withdraw are prone, those who remain are likely to develop a general         latitudinarianism. One who accepts ecclesiastical latitudinarianism easily         steps into a cooperative latitudinarianism which can become a doctrinal         latitudinarianism and especially a letdown on a clear view of Scripture.

This is what happened in certain segments of what I would         call the evangelical establishment. Out of the evangelical latitudinarianism         of the Thirties and Forties grew the letdown in regard to the Scripture         in certain areas of the evangelical structure in the Seventies. Large         sections of evangelicalism today put all they can into acting as though         it makes no real difference as to whether we hold the historic view of         Scripture or the existential view. The existential methodology says that         the Bible is authoritative when it teaches “religious” things but         not when it touches that which is historic, scientific, or such things         as the male/female relationship.

Not all who have stayed in the liberal denominations have         done this, by any means, but it is hard to escape.  I don’t see how those         who have chosen to stay in (no matter what occurs) can escape a latitudinarian         mentality which will struggle to paper over the differences on Scripture         in order to keep an external veneer of unity.  That veneer in fact obscures         a real lack of unity on the crucial point of Scripture.  And when the         doctrinal latitudinarianism sets in we can be sure from all of church         history and from observation in our own period of church history that         in just a generation or two the line between evangelical and liberal will         be lost.

This is already observable in that the liberals largely         have shifted to the existential methodology and have expressed great approval         that the “moderate evangelicals” have done so.  The trend will         surely continue.  Unless we see the new liberalism with its existential         methodology as a whole, and reject it as a whole, we will, to the extent         to which we tolerate it, be confused in our thinking.  Failure to reject         it will also involve us in the general relativism of our day and compromising         in our actions.

The second major problem of those who stay in the liberally         controlled denominations is the natural tendency to constantly move back         the line at which the final stand will be taken.  For example, can you         imagine Clarence Macartney, Donald Grey Barnhouse or T. Roland Phillips         being in a denomination in which the baffle line was the ordination of         women?  Can you imagine these great evangelical preachers of the Twenties         and Thirties (who stayed in the Presbyterian Church USA) now being in         a denomination which refuses to ordain a young man whose only fault was         that while he said he would not preach against the ordination of women         yet he would not say he had changed his mind that it was unbiblical? Can         you imagine that these leaders of the conservative cause in an earlier         era would have considered it a victory to have stalled the ordination         of practicing homosexuals and practicing lesbians?  What do you think         Macartney, Barnhouse, and Phillips would have said about these recent         developments?  Such a situation in their denomination would never have         been in their minds as in the realm of conceivable.

The line does move back.  In what presbytery of the Northern         Presbyterian Church can you bring an ordained man under biblical discipline         for holding false views of doctrine and expect him to be disciplined?

Beware of false victories.  Even if a conservative man         is elected moderator of the general assembly (as Macartney was in 1924),         it would amount to absolutely nothing.  Despite the jubilation among conservatives         at Macartney’s election, the bureaucracy simply rolled on, and not too         many years later conservative leader J. Gresham Machen could be unfrocked.          Nelson Bell was elected moderator of the Southern Church later (in 1972),         and nothing changed.  The power centers of the bureaucracy and the liberally-controlled         seminaries were unmoved.

There are always those who say, “don’t break up our         ranks … wait a while longer … wait for this … wait for that.”         It is always wait.  Never act. But 40 years is a long time to wait when         things are always and consistently getting worse.  And (with my present         health problem) I tell you soberly, we do not have forever to take that         courageous and costly stand for Christ that we sometimes talk about. We         do not have forever for that. We hear many coaxing words, but watch for         the power structure to strike out when it is threatened. If the liberals’         power is really in danger or if they fear the loss of property, watch         out!

What of the future? We live in a day that is fast-moving.          The United States is moving at great speed toward totally humanistic orientation         in society and state.  Do you think this will leave our own little projects,         our own church, and our own lives untouched?  Don’t be silly. The warnings         are on every side. When a San Francisco Orthodox Presbyterian congregation         can be dragged into court for breaking the law of discrimination because         it dismissed an avowed, practicing homosexual as an organist, can we be         so blind as to not hear all the warning bells go off?  When by a ruling         of a federal court the will of Congress can be overturned concerning the         limitation on the willful killing of unborn children, should not the warning         bells go off as to the kind of pressures ahead of us?

Who supports these things?  The liberal denominations         do, publicly, formally, and financially.  And it puts into a vise those         of us who stand for biblical morality, let alone doctrine.  Beyond the         denominations, it is their councils of churches that support not only         these things but also terrorist groups. They give moral support and money.          Should we support this by our denominational affiliation? We may seem         isolated from the results for a time but that is only because we are too         blind to see.

I don’t think we have a lot of time.  The hour is very         late, but I don’t think it is too late in this country. This is not a         day of retreat and despair.  In America it is still possible to turn things         around.  But we don’t have forever.

Reprinted from the PCA Messenger
© 1980, Christian Education Committee, PCA
P.O. Box 39, Decatur, Georgia 30031


Memorial         for Dr. Schaeffer, from the Minutes of Missouri Presbytery (PCA), July         20, 1984:

FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER
Whereas the Lord in His great wisdom and mercy has               seen fit to take our beloved brother, Francis A. Schaeffer to Himself               on May 15th, 1984, after a rather lengthy illness, andWhereas Dr. Schaeffer has been a member of this Presbytery longer             than any other member, andWhereas his ministry of evangelism and church building,               together with his defence of the historic Christian faith, and his               unceasing efforts to strengthen and preserve the biblical foundations               of our culture have not only resulted in the salvation of many souls,               but have been an inestimable blessing to multitudes of men and women               and have earned him a world-wide reputation as a valiant and effective               Christian philosopher and theologian, andWhereas he has unstintingly given of himself in               the latter part of his life to the fight against the monstrous evils               of abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, so much as that many have               been emboldened to join the battle for the sanctity of life, andWhereas his many books have left behind him a rich               treasure of teaching which will be a part of the permanent heritage               of the Christian Church,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Presbytery of Missouri,               meeting at Covenant Presbyterian Church of St. Louis on July 20,               1984, express its profound gratitude to God for the life and ministry               of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this memorial resolution               be spread upon the Minutes of the Presbytery of Missouri as a reminder               to all members of the Presbytery to remember to continue to thank               God for the inspiration and blessing we have received from Dr. Schaeffer’s               life and work.

-Robert G. Rayburn
Minutes of Missouri Presbytery (PCA), July 20, 1984
[pages 99-100]

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