JOSÉ DE SEGOVIA does a great job of describing the approach of FRANCIS SCHAEFFER!


Three fine articles about Francis Schaeffer!

Between the Lines


Schaeffer and the final apologetics

In search of authenticity (3): Francis Schaeffer’s interest was not so much to win arguments, but to win people.



30 AUGUST 2017 · 11:59 CET When Schaeffer spoke to someone, says Dorothy Woodson, he was totally focused on what the person was saying, truly interested in the person.,schaeffer

When Schaeffer spoke to someone, says Dorothy Woodson, he was totally focused on what the person was saying, truly interested in the person.

“Love is the final apologetic”, said Schaeffer. For that reason he shunned public debates. His interest was not so much to win arguments, but to win people. 

“When he was talking to you, he was totally focused on what you were saying”, recalls Dorothy Woodson, “he was interested in you as a person. He didn’t care if you were the most unlearned or the most intellectual person in the world”. He cared only about the individual. For him, people were the most important.

In contrast to current apologetics debates which are quite a spectacle, or in contrast to the battling attitudes of so many believers on social media, Schaeffer believed that one could not bear witness to the faith without caring for the person in front of you.

“I tried to give sincere answers to honest questions”, but he always sought out the motivation that prompted those questions. If he had to face the new atheists today, he would not only respond to their arguments, but he would be asking himself what had shaped someone like Dawkins. He was interested in the person.

Only once did Schaeffer agree to enter into a public debate. It was in Chicago with the most controversial religious leader of his time, the radical bishop of California, James Pike. Although educated a Catholic, Pike lost his faith, and became an Episcopalian minister. He was well-known in the 1960s for his denial of fundamental Christian doctrines which he presented in a book for which he was not ashamed to be called “a heretic”. Pike not only defended civil rights with Martin Luther King and campaigned for the ordination of women in the church, but he attacked Catholic bishops for their opposition to abortion and accepted the homosexuality of his son, with whom he even tried to get in touch after his suicide, through Spiritism.

Schaeffer thought it was not possible to testify to the faith without taking interest in the individuals.

If there was anyone that a conservative minister or a traditional moralist could easily attack, that was Pike. He not only held hold liberal ideas, but he also had many personal problems. He was an alcoholic and two of his three marriages failed. His son took his own life and his daughter also tried to do the same two years later. He also had a secretary with whom he had intimate relations for three years, before making her his third wife. She was twenty-four years younger than him.

Schaeffer, however, showed him great kindness and many Christians did not understand why he was not more aggressive with him. The debate did not become well-known because of Fran’s attitude, but also because the bishop said things he had never said before, such as his famous phrase that had he hoped to receive the bread of life from the Church but that all they gave him were stones. He was very taken by Schaeffer’s humanity saying he had never met anyone like him. No wonder they began a relationship that lasted until the mysterious death of Pike, who disappeared in the desert of Israel in 1969. Fran did not want to win arguments, he wanted to win people.


It is no easy task to fit Schaeffer into a particular school of apologetics. Protestantism has been divided since the last century into two schools that are still struggling to gain the attention of the Christian world.

On the one hand we have the evidentialism that is based on the traditional arguments for the existence of God.  It is considered ‘classical apologetics’, although evangelicals have added to that basis in “natural theology”, their particular defence of the reliability of Scripture and the resurrection of Christ.

On the other hand, there is presuppositionalism in which Schaeffer was educated with Van Til in Westminster. This teaches that there is no neutral ground between the Christian and the non-Christian, because they start from different worldviews.

Schaeffer was not interested in the intelectual demonstration of the God who is there, but in experiencing Him.

Some think that Schaeffer’s faith crisis is evidenced by the sequence of his written works such as his early books, which deal with apologetics – the trilogy that begins in 1968 with “The God Who Is There” and “Escape From Reason”, but continues with “He Is There And He Is Not Silent” (1972), but this is simply not true.

As we said in the previous article, it is “True Spirituality” (1971) which shows how he came through that spiritual crisis.  In fact, the basis of his first book is already in note form in 1948. That year he published a review to the commentary by Oliver Buswell, an evidentialist theologian of his own denomination, who wrote about an introduction to the apologetics of Carnell.

Carnell became professor of the Fuller Seminary in 1948, after collaborating with Carl Henry, who was a presuppositionalist as was his teacher at Wheaton University, Gordon Clark. Like Schaeffer, Carnell had studied at Westminster with Van Til, before graduating from Harvard. He was one of the main figures with Ockenga, Henry and Ladd, some of the so-called “new evangelical” movement that would popularize Billy Graham, but he had nervous problems. He underwent psychiatric treatment and died mysteriously. He had accepted an invitation to speak at an ecumenical workshop organized by Catholics at a San Francisco Bay hotel in 1967, but when he did not turn up for the conference, a curate went up to his room and discovered that he had died from a pill overdose – it is not known whether by accident or suicide. He was 47 years old.

Every weekend the Schaeffer's were flooded by many university students, writers, actors, painters singers and beatniks who professed all type of faiths and incredulity.

Schaeffer’s review of the evidentialist Buswell’s critique of the presuppositionalist Carnell is interesting because he seeks common ground between the two schools. Both agree that the unregenerate person cannot be saved without the sovereign call of God. The work of the Holy Spirit is needed.  Yet, as they differ in every other matter, Schaeffer “suggests an answer to the problem”.

It is found in the inconsistency of the fact that the atheist does not commit suicide, even though he sees life as totally irrational. The author of “Escape From Reason” believes that this is a result of common grace, a very important doctrine, but hardly mentioned in evangelical circles although it has enormous implications in practical life. Although non-believers are not saved, they still live by the grace of God (Acts 17:25), who gives the gifts and talents to all, and this explains why Christians are not always the best politicians, artists or professionals.

What interests Schaeffer is not so much the question of conscience, which is a vital issue to “natural theology”, but more what he calls “the point of tension”. He sees his task as “rolling the roof back” for the “unbeliever”, so that he can see the inconsistency of his position. Here Schaeffer had a flexible approach. This varied from one person to another. He saw that presuppositions were contradictory, but he looked for a common life experience in them. Faced with evidentialism, he insisted that there is “common rather than neutral” ground, but he sees room for dialogue, as opposed to the presuppositionalist.

This is why Schaeffer is sometimes called an “inconsistent or compassionate presuppositionalist”, and “a thinking evidentialist”, since he seeks “to prove” presuppositions as hypotheses by their argument and their experience. It is a perspective similar to that of Keller in “The Reason For God”, as opposed, for example, to the evidentialism of McDowell.


The problem is that Schaeffer’s apologetic work is hardly known in Hispanic circles despite Jose Grau’s efforts. This is partly because his first book, “The God That Is There”, was never published in Spanish. It appears several times announced in titles and lists of Grau’s publishing house, ‘European Evangelical Editions’, but he never managed to get the book marketed, since the two translations that he commissioned were gibberish. He told me that the two texts that were presented to him were practically illegible. That is why the book that has most impact in our language – already in its third edition – is “Escape From Reason”, his peculiar History of thought.

L'Abri aimed to be a refuge, which is the meaning of the name in French.

Schaeffer’s controversial son, Franky, was living in the L’Abri community Fran began in Huemoz (Switzerland) in 1955, to try to give “honest answers to honest questions” to anyone who asked them. Franky found a lighting job at the Montreux festival when Led Zeppelinwas the guest rock band playing that year, and Franky noted that guitarist Jimmy Page was reading “Escape From Reason”. When he introduced himself, Page told him that his father’s book was “very cool”. He also told Franky that Eric Clapton had given it to him after reading it himself. That is how widespread Schaeffer’s influence had become in the early 70’s.

The singularity of his work is not the intellectual demonstration of “The God Who Is There”, but his own personal experience, which is what “True Spirituality” speaks about. This was also true in the way L’Abri was financed. Faithful to the tradition of his in-laws, who came from Hudson Taylor’s Chinese “Faith Mission”, Fran only made known L’Abri´s economic needs in prayer to God. L’Abri never asked for money, but believed that “God would put in the minds of the people He chose the way they should share in His work”. That’s why they did no advertising nor did they even have brochures to start with. “God would bring the people he wanted and keep the others away”. There were no plans, no committee meetings.

Time magazine published an article in 1960 saying: “every weekend the Schaeffer’s are inundated by a crowd of university students – songwriters, writers, actors, singers, dancers and beatniks – who profess all kinds of faith and unbelief. They are existentialists and Catholics, Protestants, Jews and left-wing atheists”. L’Abri, which means “refuge” in French was truly that to all of them.

L'Abri did not ask for money and did no publicity, because they believed God would put the need in the minds of some people.

In conversations, Fran put himself in his listener’s shoes in order to communicate the fact that God does exist, as it is revealed in the Bible, and that He both infinite and personal. That we are sinners by His standards but that Jesus Christ has come in space, time and history, to carry our punishment to the cross. This is how Edith summed up their message. That is the truth that we must communicate in love, not just as a cold concept, but with true emotion, because “love meets people where they are”, said Schaeffer.

This is because “God so loved the world that He sent His Son not to condemn it, but that it might be saved by Him” (John 3:16-17).

Read the first and second article of this series on Francis Schaeffer. 

Published in: Evangelical Focus – Between the Lines – Schaeffer and the final apologetics

The honesty and crisis of Francis Schaeffer

In search of authenticity (2): In Schaeffer´s view what differentiates Christianity from any other religion, is that “God did everything”



03 AUGUST 2017 · 11:20 CET Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.,

Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.

There are books you don´t just read, they actually grip you! That´s what happened to me in the late 70’s, when I read Francis Schaeffer´s (1912-1984) “True Spirituality”. If you read the preface I´m sure you´ll want to continue reading …

“Many years had passed since I had been converted from agnosticism to Christianity. Then I was pastor for ten years in the United States and after that I worked in Europe for several years together with my wife Edith. During this period I felt the need to defend the position of historical Christianity as well as the purity of the visible church, very intensely.

However, I gradually faced a new problem; staying in touch with reality. In the first place, it seemed to me that many of those who held an orthodox position were disconnected from reality. Secondly, I noted my own failure to connect with reality. “


To understand Schaeffer´s 1950s crisis we have to understand its origins. As I mentioned in the first article, he had not only converted to the Christian faith, but entered into an evangelical movement which distanced him from the nominal Protestantism of his parents. 

This is how he became part of the historical fundamentalist movement represented by the elder Machen and his critique of liberal theology, forming the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia.

But this was not enough. Schaeffer opted for the new fundamentalism as we know it, by entering the Bible Presbyterian Church and the Faith Theological Seminary of the fierce young McIntire … but what differentiates the two?

Schaeffer converted from agnosticism at 18.

Neo-fundamentalism is a movement which advocates a separation of second and third degree, i.e. separation from anyone who is “guilty by association” and who has not distanced himself from those who have not become separate from the world. 

His extreme position even takes him as far as being unable to distinguish a classic doctrinal position, such as the Augustine tradition. Neo-fundamentalists hold that one´s position on the millennium or on baptism is as important as the doctrine of salvation.

Above all, it embraces a holiness, which is not only characterized by no smoking or drinking, which was acceptable in Westminster, but by it’s distancing from the world and its social entertainments. Although this clashed with Schaeffer’s interest in art and culture, he accepted it and even Edith stopped dancing, although she had done so in high school.

We have to distinguish clearly between both fundamentalist positions to avoid a lot of confusion.The issue at stake in this case is not what the value of “sound doctrine” is but more “what does sound doctrine really mean?” Does it refer to the fundamental truths of Christianity or does it mean “any belief that one considers biblical”? 

The most important thing to bear in mind is where does our responsibility lie in this bone of contention? Should you devote your life to shooting everything that moves or do you simply live your faith and proclaim the essential truths of the Gospel? 

In practice, what does being a Christian really mean? Is it to become your neighbours’ judge or is it more about true freedom? And finally, how does relate to the world at large? Is this only about spiritual matters? Or does it have to do with daily living?

If there is something that characterizes Schaeffer´s thinking, it is the search for authenticity, which is the title of the book by Duriez, now published in Spanish by Andamio. In it we discover someone who examines himself honestly and asks himself the questions that others take for granted. 

Christian language is full of presuppositions that no one recognizes, apart from those who use them, a jargon which is completely foreign to the unbeliever and no longer means anything even to Christians. They are holy sounding phrases which vary depending on ambience and fashion, but they can be considered biblical in appearance only.

Schaeffer was the pastor ofa church in Saint Louis.

All of Schaeffer´s preconceptions came down with a crash during his time in the mountains of Switzerland in the early 50’s. The question everyone asks is: what happened to him? Having read much of what he wrote and comments published on it over the years, I can only say that there´s no easy answer that question…


It has struck me that no biographer deals with Schaeffer´s middle- age period. At this stage in life, I can honestly say that I don´t have such a black and white view of things as when I was a younger man who was more prone to extreme points of view than when I reached forty.

Of course there are people who get bogged down at that stage, but by the 1950´s Schaeffer had reached the middle age crisis period which is when we all tend to ask ourselves who we are and what we may have let slip by along the way.

Schaeffer preaching in a church in Grove City.

His use of intellectual language gives you the wrong impression because his son-in-law describes him more as a rather emotional type of person. It is not unusual for people to get the impression that he had suddenly embraced atheism. His doubt is so deep rooted that it seems he questions the very existence of God and Christianity´s fundamental truths. I don´t think this was the case, because when he talks about these doubts it is in the preface to his book on “True Spirituality” (1971), not in the prologue to “God is there” (1968).

Although his book was not published until the early 1970s, there were many previous drafts. His problem with editors is that he wanted to keep the verbal style of these talks. The first time he spoke of these issues was at a camp for Presbyterian missionary families in the United States in 1953, but his reflections do not take their current format until he presents them to the community that he forms in L´Abri,Switzerland, by then it was 1964.

The first article that we can find is published in 1951, not within the separatist circle of magazines like The Bible Today or The Beacon, but in a general publication for Sunday schools called Sunday School Times.

A little protentant church in Champèry.

Schaeffer comments in these notes the lack of power and joy that exists among those who profess a biblical Christianity. They seek purity, but purity must lead towards love and this was something notably lacking in conservative circles. What he proposes is “not an intellectual problem, but a spiritual one”. 

This was a reality which he, the great champion of orthodoxy, discovered was lurking within his own heart. His family recalls that such a discovery led him into a depression where he battled against anger and frustration. He wasn´t judging the Bible, he was judging his own Christianity. His doubts weren´t doctrinal, they were personal.


On the one hand, there is a clear freeing from legalism. As we have said, the neo-fundamentalism in which Schaeffer had been formed was full of rules of separation and purity, and did not allow any room for freedom of conscience.

His daughter Susan – married to my friend Ranald Macaulay – recalls how, when she was 10 years old in 1951, saw her father drink wine for the first time – they didn´t even use it to celebrate the Lord´s Supper! -. It was not so much that he began to smoke and drink, but simply that he didn´t mind others doing it.

At L´Abri – we will discuss this community in the next article – you couldn´t use drugs, but as we shall see, he accepted many young drug users. He didn´t confront their problem morally but existentially. In Schaeffer´s view “lost souls are recovered by the reality of the existence of the Creator,” and not by a new form of legalism.

In that sense, the study of the Epistle to the Romans was vital and was probably the book of the Bible that he most regularly taught on at the community and in conferences.

The expression most repeated by him at that time was “the finished work of Christ.” Schaeffer discovered that Christianity is not a system of values, as is often thought, but a life which is based on “the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ in history.” It comes from the experience of “the power of the crucified, risen and glorified Christ, through the Holy Spirit and by faith.”

In Schaeffer´s view what differentiates Christianity from any other religion, is that “God did everything”. Schaeffer believed that “we can do nothing to save ourselves, because Christ has done it all.”

Although he began by talking about cultural and emotional issues, using examples from art and philosophy, he always brought out mankind´s moral guilt, so to announce that Christ died for us on the cross.

Schaeffer saw himself as an evangelist. He never intended to be anything else. The key question for him was not what are Christian values about so that they may be considered worth believing in, but whether Christianity itself is the truth. It was not an intellectual question, it was more about the essence of life itself. If Christianity is true it affects our whole life. It is “the true truth“as he used to say.

Published in: Evangelical Focus – Between the Lines – The honesty and crisis of Francis Schaeffer


In search of authenticity

The first of a series of articles on Schaeffer’s legacy and on the challenge he still poses to the world today.



26 JULY 2017 · 16:40 CET A biography of Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) has been published in Spanish.,Schaeffer

A biography of Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) has been published in Spanish.

At long last a biography of Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) is published in Spanish. There are already many written in English, but the one published by Andamio is one of my favourites.

This is perhaps because it isn´t written by a theologian, philosopher or apologist, but by an expert in fantasy literature, such as Colin Duriez, one of the greatest scholars on the works of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. His choice for a title is what I think best describes Schaeffer´s life and work, the search for authenticity.

It is no easy task to sum up in a single article Schaeffer’s´ biography and thinking. I have read most of his books, but also many of his letters, as well as many studies that have been published about him.

Most of all and in more recent years I have had access to his family, thanks to the appreciation and enthusiasm that his son-in-law, Ranald Macaulay, has so generously shown me. This is why I have decided to write a series of articles on his legacy and especially on the challenge he still poses to the world today.

This is, of course, my personal opinion! Schaeffer means many things to many people. Most of them, I fear, continue to see him as an intellectual who wrote complex apologetic works. Anyone who believes that shows he has not fully read Schaeffer.

Moreover, he is unaware of Schaeffer´s personal influence, which for me is his greatest legacy. He was a great listener; he learned more from listening than from reading up and he was an excellent conversationalist. He cared more about people than books. However, one book, the Bible, changed his life completely. For him, Christianity was biblical, or it was simply not Christianity.

The truth is that his Christianity was experimental. He was a man of prayer, but above all he sought authenticity. This gave him a total dislike for the super-spirituality that sweeps the evangelical world.

Jose Grau, who is perhaps his main introducer to the Hispanic world, says that this is one the aspects of Schaeffer´s works which is “prophetic”.

This aspect is, if I may borrow Grau´s expression, an issue still pending for the more conservative evangelical Christian world, as pietistic and inhuman then as it is now.

For others, however, Schaeffer is too conservative. Many in liberal circles described him as “the guru of fundamentalism.” The guru bit came from his connection with the hippy environment of the late 60’s and early 70’s, but also because of the extravagance of his Tyrolean dress manner and his approachability within a world as conventional as that of Evangelical Protestantism, where preachers still wore suits and used the same centuries old godly language. What was surprising to the liberal world was that his message remained so “fundamentalist.” But fundamentalist it was.


To understand Schaeffer´s background we have to understand what fundamentalism meant in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The main historical denominations of Protestantism were divided because their theologians were moving away from the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.

Francis came from a German Lutheran family which had emigrated to the United States. The German school of Bible critique had established an academic empire, where scepticism and intellectual pride was rampant, two things which young Schaffer opposed not only because of his humble origins – the son of an unschooled, uncultured carpenter, but because of his humble attitude.

Schaeffer joined the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Theological Seminary of Westminster.

Fran, as his family and friends called him, had dyslexic problems. When one listens to his recordings, one perceives not only the sharpness of his voice, but also the strange pronunciation he had for some names. His daughter remembers how, as a child, her father asked her to spell out very simple words.

A high school teacher broke him in to the world of art. And although he attended a Presbyterian church, he read the Bible for himself, since the denomination in which he was then attending, was not conservative.

He then joined the church built by Gresham Machen when it separated from northern United States liberal Presbyterianism which was when the Theological Seminary of Westminster in Fidaldelfia was founded.

His conversion occurred when he chanced on an evangelical mission tent-meeting in 1930. This was far removed from the nominal Protestantism of his parents. The following year he wanted to enter Hampden-Sidney University of Virginia, later to study theology.

His father saw pastors as parasites, who did no real work, but even so he agreed to pay him the first semester of general studies in philosophy and classical languages. There was an association of Christian students, which he got to preside, but whilst southern racism still prevailed, Schaeffer instead went to an Afro-American Sunday school.

Years later, his interest in Negro music led him converse with Hans Rookmaaker, the art scholar, who was passionate about jazz and film. They met at the International Council of Christian Churches, Amsterdam 1948, which coordinates fundamentalism as an alternative to the World Council of Churches.

They were so engrossed in their conversation subject that they missed going to meetings and instead walked the canals talking all the time about the relationship between the faith they had found after their conversion and popular culture.

The Dutchman had come across Christianity in a Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, where his Jewish fiancée died. He later became a member of a reformed conservative church. His current girlfriend worked as a secretary at the fundamentalist congress.


Schaeffer married  Seville, the daughter of evangelical missionaries serving in China.

Schaeffer married the daughter of evangelical missionaries serving in China. His parents were in the China Inland Mission, founded by Hudson Taylor. It was a “mission of faith” that sought cultural adaptation, even in the case of the missionaries themselves. Edith’s last name was Seville.

Fran met her at the Presbyterian Church at a youth gathering where a Unitarian lecturer denied the deity of Jesus and the divinity of the Bible.

Schaeffer debated with the speaker and recommended Machen´s book, “Christianity and Liberalism” (1923) to Edith. The year they married also saw the founding of the Westminster Seminary in 1935 where Fran enrolled in the first year, after graduating in Hampden-Sidney.

In order to understand to what extent Schaeffer was a fundamentalist, one needs to understand which part he played in the debate that took place in Westminster in 1937 on Christian freedom.

After forming the Orthodox Presbyterian Church with Machen, who also founded the seminary, a group led by Oliver Buswell and Carl McIntyre, the founder of the International Council of Christian Churches in New York in 1941, they saw the need for a new denomination, the Bible Presbyterian Church, which was to be consistent with the conduct of ” Christian separatism from the world” and premillennial eschatology.

This “neo-fundamentalist” group founded the Faith Theological Seminary and the Schaeffers joined it. The Seminary ruled abstention from alcohol and tobacco – in Westminster they drank and smoked freely- as well as avoiding variety shows and dancing.

Fran was the first minister ordained by the denomination. He became pastor of two churches in Pennsylvania, one in Grove City from 1938 and another in Chester from 1941, before continuing to the third in St. Louis, Missouri, for a further five years.

The Schaeffers were known for their ministry among children. They organized summer Bible schools and founded a missionary organization called Children for Christ, a fundamentalist split from the Alliance for Child Evangelism (APEN), and which sent them to Europe in 1947.

The Schaeffers were known for their ministry among children, like this  summer Bible school in  the church of Grove City, Pensilvania.

On that trip they visited France, Switzerland, Norway and Holland. They were at the Emmaus Bible Institute, after visiting some pastors in Lausanne and attending a Baptist church in Oslo, at the same time as the World Council of Churches was holding a youth congress.

In Lausanne they established their operations base. Fran gave lectures on the dangers of liberalism. He travelled to Scandinavia, France, Germany. Whilst he was in Rome the dogma of the Assumption of Mary was proclaimed. This prompted him to write about the dangers of Roman Catholicism.


It is evident that many evangelicals still find themselves in Schaeffer`s pre-crisis phase, a crisis which occurred in Switzerland in the 1950s. They see the dangers of liberalism, Roman Catholicism and the ecumenical movement. They do not see how a Christian can drink or smoke.

They believe that biblical doctrine includes even their own particular eschatological position on the millennium. They must be separate from the world. The problem starts when someone like Fran has doubts about himself more than doubts about the Bible. This honest attitude drives him to search his own heart deeply.

Schaeffer warned about  the dangers of Barth's new modernism.

Schaeffer had studied at Westminster with a Dutchman named Van Til, who combined presuppositional apologetics with one of the earliest attacks on Karl Barth’s theology of a “new modernism,” in saying that the Bible contains, but is not the actual Word of God.

His view of Aquinas is the same as that of Van Til, but he differed with him in the radicalism of the view that there was no possible connection between a believer’s faith and the non-Christian worldview.

It is interesting to note that Van Til never chose to disagree with him in public. Schaeffer told Rookmaaker that when he became a pastor he relied so much on his persuasiveness that if the other person did not accept Christ, he thought his own arguments must be unconvincing.

When they went to Switzerland, the Schaeffers already had three daughters. His health was not very good. They thought it was due to the local regional climate of the place where they had settled in a pension in La Rosiaz. They moved to Champéry, where they worked with English girls who spoke no French.

It all seemed rather strange whilst they prepared to hold a congress in Geneva where Fran was going to speak to the International Council of Christian Churches about the dangers of Barth’s “new modernism.” He then has personal contact with Barth.

His bitter correspondence can now be found on a Spanish internet blog. What many people don´t realise is that this happened just before the crisis he had in the 1950s, when he gave up being a missionary.

At the end of his life, dying from cancer, Schaeffer wrote this book lamenting is the excesses of his fundamentalist past.

He relates this experience in the prologue to his book “True spirituality”, published in 1971. I will write about that in my next article. Reading this book was a really liberating experience for me. Like many people who have been raised in church, I also went through a doubting phase.

Some, like Schaeffer, have become Christians in adult life, but they sincerely question the reality of that experience when they get doubts about their spirituality further down the line. What is surprising is that he was pastor, missionary and lecturer, but he had the courage to say out loud what many of us hide in our hearts.

 The greatest lesson we can learn from Schaeffer about fundamentalism is that one can be a champion of orthodoxy, seek ecclesiastical purity and live according to the strictest evangelical law, but be fooling oneself.

At the end of his life, dying from cancer, he remembered those years andlamented his crusade for truth which had lacked the love that comes from the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus. He had orthodoxy, but not orthopraxis.

In his view this is “The great evangelical disaster,” the title of the incomplete book he wrote whilst in hospital and which has never been translated. We can have great zeal for the truth, but little of the love through which the world will know that we are Jesus´ disciples (John 13:35)…

Published in: Evangelical Focus – Between the Lines – In search of authenticity

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PART 161 A look at the BEATLES Breaking down the song ALL WE NEED IS LOVE Part B (Featured artist is Francis Hoyland )

April 27, 2017 – 1:52 am


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