Baylor prof says Francis Schaeffer returned to fundamentalist views 


Francis Schaeffer : Reclaiming the World part 1, 2

1984 SOUNDWORD LABRI CONFERENCE VIDEO – Q&A With Francis & Edith Schaeffer

Baylor prof says Francis Schaeffer returned to fundamentalist views

WASHINGTON (ABP) — Many evangelical scholars agree Francis Schaeffer was the single greatest force that propelled evangelicals into political action — ultimately putting George W. Bush in the White House. But some question whether he is rightly described as a fundamentalist.

While some scholars think Schaeffer, the popular author and theologian who helped a generation of evangelicals move toward the public square, left fundamentalism behind during his lifetime, Baylor University professor Barry Hankins is reticent to concede that point.

“Historians have defined fundamentalism as the militaristic defense of orthodoxy,” Hankins told more than 1,000 theologians who gathered Nov. 15 for the first plenary session of the Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Washington, D.C. True fundamentalism, he said, encompasses two parts: militancy and separatism. In Hankins’ view, Schaeffer embodied both throughout his career.

According to Hankins, Schaeffer went through three phases during his theological life — the “fundamentalist period,” the L’Abri period, and the Christian Right period.

In the early years before establishing L’Abri, a forum for discussion and study in Huemoz-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, Schaeffer worried almost constantly that the separatist mindset would disappear within the theologically conservative Bible Presbyterian Church to which he belonged. He worked closely with Carl McIntire, a then-popular fundamentalist radio preacher and founder of Bible Presbyterian.

“Schaeffer was even a second-degree separationist,” Hankins said, referring to the belief that Christians should not associate even with other Christians who associate with “the world.” “That is, he believed fundamentalists should not labor [with other mainline churches],” he said. “Schaefer’s criticism of the [National Association of Evangelicals] extended to Fuller Seminary. This was secondary separation, and Shaffer was adamant.”

Fuller Theological Seminary, located in Pasadena, Calif., is a multidenominational, evangelical seminary known for a progressive stance on social issues.

After a mutual and irreversible rift emerged with McIntire, who had developed increasingly separationist leanings, Schaeffer began the L’Abri community at his home in 1955. Although initial plans for Schaeffer’s move to Europe in 1948 was to “shore up” evangelical churches in the post-WWII context, he “moved increasingly toward a position of intellectual and cultural engagement,” Hankins said.

During the time in Europe, Schaeffer and his wife, Edith, realized that, in a secular culture, attacking people who had so-called liberal ideologies was relatively unproductive. Instead, he engaged those sometimes shunned by churches: hippies, existentialists, Bohemians, relativists, atheists and unwed mothers.

Meeting these young people “where they were” spiritually and philosophically was Schaeffer’s evangelism, Hankins said. Unlike in the United States, where young people were not yet questioning traditional philosophy and spirituality, Schaeffer encountered in Europe those who struggled with questions posed by Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. The results, Hankins said, were Schaeffer’s apologetics.

“Schaeffer was the model of tolerance and understanding,” he said. “All worldviews were welcomed…. The conversations were never really academic. They were about truth and how it affected real lives. It was about apologetics in the pit: down and dirty.”

After his return to the United States, Schaeffer frequently visited college campuses across America, trying to energize students in ways that were almost opposite to the stricter ideas that characterized his early days. In short, he turned from a McIntire protégé into a cultural critic. And his knickers, goatee and long hair only helped endear him to the counter-cultural generation he befriended.

The 1970s, though, brought a slight turn in Schaeffer’s thinking, according to Hankins.

Schaeffer moved back to the United States because he saw a chance to defend American culture from the “liberalism” of Europe, Hankins said. Schaeffer feared American evangelicalism was susceptible to theological liberalism.

“Europe was lost in this regard; you won’t find Schaeffer trying to restore Switzerland’s or France’s Christian base,” Hankins said. “Moreover, Europe was not his land and, most tragically in his view, America had lost its Christian base as recently as in his lifetime.”

A Christian Manifesto, written by Schaeffer in 1982, was one way he sought to defend the faith. Intended as a response to the Communist Manifestoand the Humanist Manifesto, the book said society — to its detriment — had become increasingly pluralistic. Schaeffer also argued that Christians should challenge the influence of secular humanism, the worldview that “man is the measure of all things.”

“In the 1970s, the militancy and combativeness for Schaeffer’s fundamentalism were still there,” Hankins said. Schaeffer believed anything that undermined creationism undercut all of Christianity, and he warned against working with those who questioned the inerrancy of the Bible, Hankins said.

For Schaeffer in the ’70s and ’80s, the identifiable enemy was the secular humanist. “How Shall We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? defined Schaeffer’s manifesto,” Hankins said. “A Christian Manifesto is nothing if not militant. Culturally separatist it is not, but it is militant.”

Twenty years after Schaeffer’s death, Christian Right leaders like Jerry Falwell and Tim LaHaye are still influenced by fundamentalism’s separatist tradition, Hankins said. He asserted that while Schaeffer and others relinquished their separatism in order to better understand and reach people, extreme fundamentalists have failed to do so.

Schaeffer met people on common ground as human beings, Hankins said. He lived as an alien in European culture, and that alienation taught him to study and teach within a secular context — much like that of the United States today.

“Militant defense of the faith is too easily adaptable to politics, and it comes with a price,” he said. “Perhaps the most valuable lesson Americans can take from Schaeffer is to leave America — not literally as he did, of course, but figuratively and theologically.”

90 years ago today on September 12, 1931, Adrian Rogers was born and I wanted to celebrate today by repeating one of my favorite posts from Adrian Rogers messages! In the 1970’s and 1980’s I was a member of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis where Adrian Rogers was pastor and was a student at ECS from the 5th grade to the 12th grade where I was introduced to the books and films of Francis Schaeffer. During this time I was amazed at how many prominent figures in the world found their way into the works of both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and I wondered what it would be like if these individuals were exposed to the Bible and the gospel. Therefore, over 20 years ago I began sending the messages of Adrian Rogers and portions of the works of Francis Schaeffer to many of the secular figures that they mentioned in their works.


In the 1970’s and 1980’s I was a member of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis where Adrian Rogers was pastor and was a student at ECS from the 5th grade to the 12th grade where I was introduced to the books and films of Francis Schaeffer. During this time I was amazed at how many prominent figures in the world found their way into the works of both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and I wondered what it would be like if these individuals were exposed to the Bible and the gospel. Therefore, over 20 years ago I began sending the messages of Adrian Rogers and portions of the works of Francis Schaeffer to many of the secular figures that they mentioned in their works. Let me give you some examples and tell you about some lessons that I have learned.


I have learned several things about atheists in the last 20 years while I have been corresponding with them. First, they know in their hearts that God exists and they can’t live as if God doesn’t exist, but they will still search in some way in their life for a greater meaning. Second, many atheists will take time out of their busy lives to examine the evidence that I present to them. Third, there is hope that they will change their views.

Let’s go over again a few points I made at the first of this post.  My first point is backed up by  Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). I have discussed this many times on my blog and even have interacted with many atheists from CSICOP in the past. (I first heard this from my pastor Adrian Rogers back in the 1980’s.)

My second point is that many atheists will take the time to consider the evidence that I have presented to them and will respond. The late Adrian Rogers was my pastor at Bellevue Baptist when I grew up and I sent his sermon on evolution and another on the accuracy of the Bible to many atheists to listen to and many of them did. I also sent many of the arguments from Francis Schaeffer also.

Adrian Rogers and his wife Joyce pictured above with former President George Bush at Union University in Tennessee.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:


Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), (Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), and Michael Martin (1932-).
Third, there is hope that an atheist will reconsider his or her position after examining more evidence. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan.  I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? You may have noticed in the news a few years that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.Antony Flew wrote me back several times and in the  June 1, 1994 letter he  commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” I later sent him Adrian Rogers’ sermon on evolution too. 

 The ironic thing is back in 2008 I visited the Bellevue Baptist Book Store and bought the book There Is A God – How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, by Antony Flew, and it is in this same store that I bought the message by Adrian Rogers in 1994 that I sent to Antony Flew. Although Antony Flew did not make a public profession of faith he did admit that the evidence for God’s existence was overwhelming to him in the last decade of his life. His experience has been used in a powerful way to tell  others about Christ. Let me point out that while on airplane when I was reading this book a gentleman asked me about the book. I was glad to tell him the whole story about Adrian Rogers’ two messages that I sent to Dr. Flew and I gave him CD’s of the messages which I carry with me always. Then at McDonald’s at the Airport, a worker at McDonald’s asked me about the book and I gave him the same two messages from Adrian Rogers too.


Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God

Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008

Has Science Discovered God?

A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last 50 years. Over the decades, he published more than 30 books attacking belief in God and debated a wide range of religious believers.

Then, in a 2004 Summit at New York University, Professor Flew announced that the discoveries of modern science have led him to the conclusion that the universe is indeed the creation of infinite Intelligence.

For More Info Visit:


Here is a very powerful blog post about who Adrian Rogers who below:

Who Was Adrian Rogers?

Anyone who is the slightest bit familiar with my own ministry will know how profoundly I have been influenced by Adrian Rogers. He was in many ways a father in ministry to me, and it grieves me that many younger evangelicals may not know much about this giant from the previous generation. To me this is a tragedy, especially for those who, like me, identify as Southern Baptists. No one was more responsible for the Southern Baptist Conservative Resurgence than Dr. Rogers (along with Drs. Patterson, Vines, and Judge Paul Pressler).

So I’d like to do a few brief posts that will hopefully introduce or reintroduce you to this great man. First, I’ll briefly outline who Adrian Rogers was. Second, I’d like to share more personally about what Adrian Rogers has meant to me. Then I will point out some the lessons you and I can learn from him as we love and serve the Lord Jesus. Finally, I’ll share some of my favorite quotes and clips that will further expose you to his life and ministry.

Certainly this is not intended to be hero-worship nor hagiography. Instead, I hope this series accomplishes two things: (1) I hope it leads you to be thankful to God for raising up choice servants at pivotal points in history. (2) I trust this will give you a clearer glimpse into my own ministry, since Dr. Rogers has had such a profound impact on me over the years. (I would note that Tony Merida, David Platt, and I dedicated the Christ-Centered Exposition series to both John Piper and Adrian Rogers.)

So who was Adrian Rogers? Dr. Rogers is best known for serving as the long-time pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church just outside of Memphis, TN. He started at Bellevue in 1972 and served there until he retired in 2005, which is the year he died (November 15). Bellevue was already a large church at the time of his installation, having been led previously by the influential R. G. Lee. Under Rogers’ leadership, however, Bellevue’s membership exploded to upwards of 29,000.

In an age before podcasts, Adrian Rogers was known around the world through his radio and television ministry, Love Worth Finding. It was here that millions were exposed to his simple yet powerful practice of preaching expository sermons week in and week out at Bellevue.

Though Rogers’ ministry was primarily in the local church, he will most likely (and deservedly so!) be remembered for his role in the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. Prior to this denominational transformation in the 80’s and 90’s, conservative pastors in the SBC had noticed a leftward drift in the denominational entities, most notably the seminaries. A grassroots effort to reform these entities and bring the convention back to conservative positions on biblical inerrancy and authority ensued, with the goal being to get conservative leaders elected to the office of SBC President. Over time, successive presidents would be able to influence the institutions of the SBC through conservative appointments to committees and trustee boards.

In 1979, Adrian Rogers was the very first of a still unbroken line of conservative SBC Presidents. This string of elections has allowed for the steady retrieval of denominational entities to theological conservatism, including all six SBC seminaries. With this in mind, it’s hard to overstate the importance of Dr. Rogers as the first of these presidents. God raised him us as the right man at the right time to gain enough support to stem the time of liberalism and guard the SBC from potentially losing the gospel itself. Such liberal trends would almost certainly have led to a dying denomination and many dying churches.

This is an incomplete picture of who Dr. Rogers was. He was a man of God, a leader, a humble servant, and an example to an entire generation of pastors and church leaders. Without going into many more details of his life, I’ll take the next post in this series to share what it has meant to me personally to be able to know and learn from this great man.

Evolution: Fact of Fiction? By Adrian Rogers


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My correspondence with George Wald and Antony Flew!!!

During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know […]

Antony Flew in his book THERE IS A GOD talks about his “notoriety” as an atheist! ( also 7 News : Web Extra: Ricky Gervais on God)

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