JERRAM BARRS TALKS ABOUT HIS MENTOR FRANCIS SCHAEFFER!!!! In the 1960’s Schaeffer came along and rightly tied together the prolife view from the Bible to the prolife political view. Some in the church like to deny that but even Peter Singer of Princeton can see the powerful impact of such a move and Singer has even pulled out of debates when he realizes that his opponent has that view.

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: Whatever Happened to the Human Race Episode 1 ABORTION

Published on Jan 10, 2015

Whatever Happened to the Human Race?
Dr. Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer: The Man and His Message
Jerram Barrs 

Professor of Christian Studies and Contemporary Culture and
Resident Scholar of the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute 


Francis Schaeffer never presented himself as an academic apologist, as a philosopher, as a theologian, or as a scholar. Instead, he spoke of himself as an evangelist and a pastor, and this truly is how he thought about the ministry that God had graciously given him. I felt it might be useful to begin with a somewhat personal account of factors that contributed to his theological development.


Francis Schaeffer was converted at the age of 17 in 1930 while he was a junior in high school. I heard him tell the story on several occasions, but here I will use his wife Edith’s account from The Tapestry, her autobiographical account of their life together. Edith recounts how, by “accident,”

Fran was sent home from a bookstore with a book on Greek philosophy, when he had in fact entered the shop to buy a beginner’s English reading book to help him teach English to a Russian. In God’s providence reading this book on Greek philosophy set his mind on fire—but he soon discovered that the philosophers asked many questions, yet seemed to have no answers to the basic problems of the human condition. Reflecting on this he recognized that the preaching he heard on Sundays in the liberal church he attended was just as devoid of answers. “I wonder,” he mused to himself, “whether I should stop calling myself a Christian, and discard the Bible?” Then he reconsidered, and faced the fact that he had never read the Bible in his life. Since at this time he was reading Ovid, he decided that before discarding the Bible, he’d read some of Ovid and some of the Bible night by night. Gradually he put aside Ovid altogether and spent all the time he had on reading the Bible.

How did he read it? Who helped him to understand? No one gave him any suggestions. He wouldn’t have known who to ask, and in any case, he had no idea that there was any way to read it other than to read it in the same way as any other book. He started at the beginning of Genesis and read to the end. If you want to know why Fran has such high regard for the Bible and feels it is adequate in answering the questions of life, the answer is right here. As a seventeen-year-old boy with a thirst for the answers to life’s questions, he began to discover for himself the existence of adequate and complete answers right in the Bible. . . .

Sometime in the next six months Francis Schaeffer became a Christian. He believed and bowed before God, accepting Christ as his Savior, having come to an understanding directly from the Word of God itself. He thought he had discovered something no one else knew about. He thought what he had found was unique, and that he alone had found it. If what he had discovered was being a Christian, then he thought he was the only one. But—he didn’t call himself that. It was a transforming reality that changed his whole outlook; it began to change his marks at school and the way he looked at the world. But, for a time, he did not know that there was anyone else who shared this truth he felt he had discovered. You see, he thought that Christianity was what he heard preached by an old-fashioned liberal who gave ethical talks and who did not preach Biblical truth. At that time Fran was totally ignorant of the fact that there was any other kind of preaching.

This beginning to his Christian life was, as Edith says, and as he would say himself repeatedly, foundational to his approach to the Bible. He discovered that in following what he was later to call “the flow of biblical history,” the answers to the most fundamental questions and problems of human existence were to be found. In the unfolding biblical account of creation, fall, and redemption God answered his questions through his Word. Long before he had ever heard of such a term, Schaeffer was beginning to develop what theologians today would call a biblical theology, and what many Christians would describe as a biblical world and life view.

Creation in God’s Image 

Scaheffer saw our creation as God’s image-bearers as foundational to everything else that Scripture reveals about human persons. Where many Christians today want to begin with the sin and the fallenness of people around us in our secular society, Schaeffer insisted that the fall did not “stop anyone from being human.”9 The same point is made repeatedly in his study on Genesis, Genesis in Space and Time. See, for example, his account of the creation of human persons in chapter 2: “For twentieth-century man this phrase, the image of God, is as important as anything in Scripture, because men today can no longer answer that crucial question, ‘Who am I?’”10 Or again: “That which differentiates man from the machine is that his basic relationship is upward rather than downward or horizontal. He is created to relate to God in a way that none of the other created beings are. . . . This differentiation makes genuine love possible. . . . Furthermore, if we are made in the image of God, we are not confused as to the possibility of communication; and we are not confused as to the possibility of revelation, for God can reveal propositional truth to me as I am made in his image.”11

This recognition of human uniqueness at the heart of all that Scripture reveals about who we are also marked Schaeffer’s approach to the Christian life and true spirituality. He believed that Christian growth is restoration to the image of God, that is, to true humanness. It was his lead in this area, and his personal encouragement that stands behind the book Ranald Macaulay and I wrote together: Being Human: The Nature of Spiritual Experience.12

Human Life 

This approach of always going back to biblical foundations enabled Schaeffer to have the freedom to think about subjects that were not normally matters of discussion or concern among evangelical Christians. This is true with regard to human life issues. He began to address the problems of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia long before most other evangelicals. The reason for this was his deep sense that human persons are made in the image of God and are therefore to be treasured by us.

Just two years before his death, Schaeffer said in a lecture entitled “Priorities”: “We must understand that human life stands at a unique place. Human life stands at a crucial place because there is an unbreakable link between the existence of the infinite personal God and the unique dignity, intrinsic dignity of people. If God does not exist and he has not made people in his own image, there is no basis for an intrinsic, unique dignity of human life.”13 For Schaeffer, his conviction that Scripture teaches that we are God’s image-bearers continually fed his passion to help alienated young people see that they had dignity and value, and also challenged him to speak up for the unborn, for the newborn, for the handicapped, and for the elderly.

8 See Reclaiming the World, a video series and accompanying handbook in which Schaeffer sets out his apologetic methodology. Richard B. Sherman, Reclaiming the World: Comprehensive Leader’s Guide (Los Gatos, CA: Schaeffer V Productions, 1982), contains a transcript of the text of the videos.

9 Francis A. Schaeffer, The Finished Work of Christ: The Truth of Romans 1–8 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1998), 32. 10 Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time, 46. 11 Ibid., 47.

10 Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time, 46.

11 Ibid., 47.

12 Ranald Macaulay and Jerram Barrs, Being Human: The Nature of Spiritual Experience (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978).

13 See also Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1984), chapter 4, in which he quotes Peter Singer, the Australian ethicist now at Princeton. Singer recognizes that once the tie between the personal God of the Bible and human persons has been cut, then there is no basis for protecting the life of the unborn, newborn, or elderly and infirm. One of Singer’s more recent books is, consequently, entitled Unsanctifying Human Life. I was once scheduled to debate with Singer on Australian television, but when he learned of my connection to Schaeffer, he withdrew, saying there was no point in our meeting to discuss on the same panel as we would have nothing in common. I must confess that I was relieved by his withdrawal because of his evident brilliance, but also saddened to lose the opportunity to try to appeal to his humanity.)

Peter Singer below.

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

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