Truth Tuesday:Wrestling with Tough Questions by Billy McMahon

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Wrestling with Tough Questions by Billy McMahon

Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

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Francis Schaeffer- How Should We Then Live? -8- The Age of Fragmentation

Joseph Rozak·

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEmwy_dI2j0

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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 Billy McMahon 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 only reason I put up this post is because of the excellent response below by Bradley Rogers in the comment section. 

Wrestling with Tough Questions

Posted on May 4, 2011 by Billy McMahon

Several years ago, I was a huge fan of Francis Schaeffer, a reformed Christian and self-proclaimed critic of art, culture, and philosophy. I read all of his books and much of my worldview was shaped by his critiques of non-Christian thought. I remember dismissing a lot of contemporary views (postmodernism, emergent church, Rob Bell, relativism, atheism, ect.) with the simple claim that “modern man is dead.” Is modern man actually “dead?” According to Schaeffer, yes, he has rebelled against God and sought to create understanding through himself. This explains why we have paintings such as Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2.

Modern man’s world crumbles. Conventions fall apart and reality becomes disintegrated as there is no lasting hope. On the other hand, the Bible has the potential to offer answers in this broken world.

I remember in one book by Schaeffer, Albert Camus’ The Plague is somewhat rejected for being nihilistic, atheistic, and borderline ridiculous. In the book, the main character Rieux, a doctor, must deal with a modern resurgence of the bubonic plague. His wife is taken away, he sees others die on an hourly basis, and wrestles with losing hope.

After actually reading Camus, I was deeply moved. Camus raised questions directly related to the horrors experienced in the World Wars. Rieux seems to mirror Camus in that he struggles with belief in God, morality, and his own life’s purpose. After finishing the book, I realized that I had grown past my previous dismissal of the surrounding culture. Modern humanity should not be dismissed for being “dead;” people simply have questions that they constantly wrestle with. All of these concerns are completely legitimate. For example, why did God allow Auschwitz to happen? Why do I have so much anxiety? Does moral good actually exist? If he’s there, can God actually hear me?

While these questions might seem haunting or shocking to many, people actually deal with these issues. Perhaps rather than dismissing the person wrestling with something grave and atheistic, why not befriend him/her and engage in the issue as well? The metaphor of wrestling with God is definitely not limited to Jacob.

2 Responses

  1. Bradley Rogers, on May 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm said:

    I don’t think that Schaeffer would reject those questions listed in your section “for example,” nor would I think he would reject the person asking them. I think the issue that he takes is with the assertion that life is absurd, and if life is absurd, then God must be dead. If God is dead, then man is dead. Struggling with the concept is incredibly important and should absolutely be discussed, but the acceptance and promotion of this existentialistic philosophy is dangerous, and it should be rejected because it conflicts with truth.

    Also, it should be noted that Labri Fellowship International, a house of sorts that Dr. Schaeffer created, is a resting place for people to go and seek the answers to the questions that you listed. They go and converse and philosophize and seek ultimate understanding. http://www.labri.org/

    If I misunderstood what you were saying, or you just straight up disagree, please let me know!

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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