Tag Archives: H.R.Rookmaaker

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

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프란시스 쉐퍼 – 그러면 우리는 어떻게 살 것인가 introduction (Episode 1)

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : 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,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors foexhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below

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Here are some comments from Francis Schaeffer (includes two quotes from David Douglas Duncan) from the episode “The Age of Fragmentation” which is part of the film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?

Cezanne reduced nature to what he considered its basic geometric forms. In this he was searching for an universal which would tie all kinds of individual things in nature together, but this gave a broken fragmented appearance to his pictures.
File:Paul Cézanne 047.jpg
Les Grandes Baigneuses, 1898–1905: the triumph of Poussinesque stability and geometric balance.
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In his bathers there is much freshness, much vitality. An absolute wonder in the balance of the picture as a whole, but he portrayed not only nature but also man himself in fragmented form. 
I want to stress that I am not minimizing these men as men. To read van Gogh’s letters is to weep for the pain of this sensitive man. Nor do I minimize their talent as painters. Their work often has great beauty indeed. But their art did become the vehicle of modern man’s view of fractured truth and light. As philosophy had moved from unity to fragmentation so did painting. In 1912 Kaczynski wrote an article saying that in so far as the old harmony, that is an unity of knowledge have been lost, that only two possibilities remained: extreme abstraction or extreme naturalism, both he said were equal.
File:Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.jpg
With this painting modern art was born. Picasso painted it in 1907 and called it Les Demoiselles d’AvignonIt unites Cezzanne’s fragmentation with Gauguin’s concept of the noble savage using the form of the African mask which was popular with Parisian art circle of that time. In great art technique is united with worldview and the technique of fragmentation works well with the worldview of modern man. A view of a fragmented world and a fragmented man and a complete break with the art of the Renaissance which was founded on man’s humanist hopes.
Here man is made to be less than man. Humanity is lost. Speaking of a part of Picasso’s private collection of his own works David Douglas Duncan says “Of course, not one of these pictures  was actually a portrait, but his prophecy of a ruined world.”
But Picasso himself could not  live  with this loss of the human. When he was in love with Olga and later Jacqueline he did not consistently paint them in a fragmented way. At crucial 
points  of their relationship he painted them as they really were with all his genius, with all their humanity. When he was painting his own young children he did not use fragmented techniques and presentation. Picasso had many mistresses, but these were the two women he married. It is interesting that Jacqueline kept one of these paintings in her private sitting room. Duncan says  of this lovely picture, “Hanging precariously on an old nail driven high on one of La Californie’s (Picasso and Jacqueline’s home) second floor sitting room walls, a portrait of Jacqueline Picasso reigns supreme. The room is her  domain…Painted in oil with charcoal, the picture has been at her side since shortly after she and the maestro met…She loves it and wants in nearby.” 
I want you to understand that I am not saying that gentleness and humanness is not present in modern art, but as the techniques of modern art advanced, humanity was increasingly 
fragmented–as we shall see, for example, with Marcel Duchamp….The opposite of fragmentation would be unity, and the old philosophic thinkers thought they could bring forth this unity from  the humanist base and then they gave this up.
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Picasso and Olga Khokhlova

Their son Paulo (Paul) was born in 1921 (and died in 1975), influencing Picasso’s imagery to turn to mother and child themes.  Paul’s three children are Pablito (1949-1973), Marina (born in 1951), and Bernard (1959).  Some of the Picassos in this Saper Galleries exhibition are from Marina and Bernard’s  personal Picasso collection.

Pablo Picasso. Portrait of Paul Picasso as a Child.

Portrait of Paul Picasso as a Child. 1923. Oil on canvas.
Collection of Paul Picasso, Paris, France.

In 1917 ballerina Olga Khokhlova (1891-1955) met Picasso while the artist was designing the ballet “Parade” in Rome, to be performed by the Ballet Russe.  They married in the Russian Orthodox church in Paris in 1918 and lived a life of conflict.  She was of high society and enjoyed formal events while Picasso was more bohemian in his interests and pursuits.  Their son Paulo (Paul) was born in 1921 (and died in 1975), influencing Picasso’s imagery to turn to mother and child themes.  Paul’s three children are Pablito (1949-1973), Marina (born in 1951), and Bernard (1959).  Some of the Picassos in this Saper Galleries exhibition are from Marina and Bernard’s  personal Picasso collection.

https://i2.wp.com/www.sapergalleries.com/PicassoOlga.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/www.sapergalleries.com/PicassoOlgaPhoto.jpg

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Feature on the artist Georges Rouault today!!!!

Today I am featuring the artist Georges Rouault who always a great example of an artist who presented unity and not fragmentation in his work.

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Georges Rouault

Published on Mar 14, 2012

Georges Henri Rouault (París, 27 de mayo de 1871 — 13 de febrero de 1958) fue un pintor francés fauvista y expresionista. Trabajó además la litografía y el aguafuerte.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Modern Art Portraits Georges Rouault

Simone
Recently we explored some of the paintings of Georges Rouault, a French Expressionist painter.
As a young man, he had apprenticed at a stained glass studio, restoring Medieval glass. The bright colors of the glass and the religious subjects of the art influenced his style of painting.
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Christ of the Incas<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
He enjoyed painting people and his subjects included not only religious subjects, but clowns, acrobats, Pierrots, ballerinas, peasants and workers.

Georges Rouault, Dors Mon Amour, Plate XVII, from Cirque de L'Etoile Filante
Dors Mon Amor (Sleep My Love)1935

He focused on the expressions and feeling and emotions of his subjects and used strong colors and heavy lines when portraying them.


Amazone 1930

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Book Cover: Ruoault and Fujimura

Rouault, Fujimura: Soliloquies

  • Thomas S. Hibbs
  • Jan 14, 2013
  • Series: Volume 16 – 2013

Thomas S. Hibbs, Rouault, Fujimura: Soliloquies. New York: Square Halo Books, 2009. ISBN-10: 0978509722; ISBN-13: 978-0978509729. 62 pages. Paperback. Reviewed by Douglas Groothuis.

Evangelicals have often been leery, if not hostile, to modern painting (and modern art in general)—especially if it fails to depict religious or realistically portrayed themes (such as those found in Norman Rockwell). Too often, Christians have settled for sentimental and downright kitschy paintings, such as those of the late Thomas Kinkade, “Painter of Light” as he was trademarked. Or, Christians may invoke modern painters as examples of cultural disarray, fragmentation, hedonism, or even nihilism. In many cases, these are apt judgments, as the work of Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rookmaaker have highlighted. However, neither man uniformly disapproved of modern art. (See particularly Rookmaaker, Art and the Death of a Culture[InterVarsity, 1970] and Art Needs No Justification[InterVarsity, 1977]; and Schaeffer, How Shall We Then Live? [Fleming, Revel, 1976]. Also worthwhile is the film series of the same name, now available on DVD.)

Both Schaeffer and Rookmaaker encouraged Christians to consider painting and other forms of artistic expression as a calling from God, the divine Artist. As musician and author Michael Card notes in his introduction to a reprinting of Schaeffer’s little gem, Art and the Bible (InterVarsity, 2006), many young Christians in the 1970s were inspired to pursue their artistic muse through Schaeffer’s lectures and writings. Schaeffer took a deeply humane and Christocentric view of art. He discerned that art revealed the inner lives and eternal culture of human beings, who were made in the image of God, despite their sin. As he wrote in A Christian Manifesto (Crossway, 1981), “Men are great, even in their sinning.” (Please ruminate on this concept for a long while.) This perspective caused him to ponder and reflect on the meaning of art in various cultures at various times. Schaeffer’s theology of culture was strongly Christocentric. All that is rooted in God’s good creation must be placed under “the Lordship of Christ,” including areas typically considered secular, such as art and politics, for humans are intrinsically culture-creators (see Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8).

A story makes this approach to art come to life. In the early 1970s, a young black man named Sylvester Jacobs came to study at L’Abri, a study center founded and run by Francis and Edith Schaeffer, which is still in existence. Jacobs was passionate about Christ, but was told by his Fundamentalist peers that his enchantment with photography was worldly and of the devil. He must, rather, spend all his time preaching and evangelizing. This left Jacobs hollow and confused—until he went to L’Abri in Switzerland. While there, the teachings of Schaeffer and then colleague Os Guinness convinced Jacobs that photography can be done for the glory of God. This realization changed Jacobs’s life for the better, and he became a professional photographer, and without putting aside his Christian convictions. For proof of Jacobs talents, see his book, Portrait of a Shelter, among others. For his story, read the autobiography, Born Black (Hodder, 1977).

But now to the book in question: Soliloquies, which is taken from an exhibition of the art of French painter, George Rouault (1871-1958), and the contemporary Japanese-American painter Makoto Fujimura. The paintings of each artist alternate throughout the book with text by philosopher Thomas Hibbs. The title was chosen not because the artists were caught up in excessive self-reference or egotism, but because their art-making required deep introspection, and internal dialogue on how to engage the external world through their paintings (7-13).

Rouault was a loyal Roman Catholic and Fujimura is a contemporary evangelical, who has worked with pastor and best-selling author Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. Fujimura offers a short “refraction” at the end of the booklet called, “George Rouault: The First Twentieth Century Artist,” wherein he considers Rouault’s uniqueness and his influence on Fujimura’s own work.

On the face it, this is an odd pairing of painters. Rouault was known as a figural painter, who mixed abstraction with depictions of human subjects (although he also painted landscapes, flowers, and so on). His work has the quality of a stained glass window and he often portrayed human beings in their deepest sorrows and absurdities. For example, he painted nude prostitutes (without eroticism), unhappy clowns, and pompous judges without wisdom; he painted old kings, weighed down with a lifetime of sorrow; he painted many scenes of the crucifixion and of human sorrow in its variegated forms. And yet, unlike so many twentieth century painters (such as Picasso at times), he never lost touch with the humanness and dignity of his subjects. If you pitied them, wept for them, or saw part of yourself in them (as I do), you knew that the humanity, however, debauched or sullied, was present and even radiant in its ineluctable radiance. This is because Rouault loved his subjects, and even saw Christ in them, “the least of these” (see Matthew 25:31-46). His pity led him to paint, not scoff, shrug, or ignore.

Fujimura, on the other hand, is not a figural painter, although he has painted some recognizable objects in his illustrated edition of the Gospels.  In fact, it is rather difficult to categorize him. Before we try, I should note it is rare that a self-consciously Christian painter achieves acceptance and even notoriety in the highly competitive secular art scene of New York City. Fujimura has done just that. While some—not hordes—of Christians appreciate his sometimes elusive work, he is not dependent on the acceptance or exclusive patronage of religious people for his living. This is an exemplary instance of following one’s calling into a daunting field of work without compromising one’s Christian conviction. Unlike so many other Christian artists (or pseudo-artists), Fujimura is not confined to an evangelical subculture or ghetto. He has earned the respect of his peers. But how so?

Fujimura combines the sensibilities of twentieth century abstraction with traditional Japanese artists’ techniques, which involve the use a variety of metal substancees besides paint. One is strained to identify actual objects in his paintings, yet they fascinate with their incandescent mystery. But the question then arises, “What do these paintings mean?” The titles sometimes help, but one still wonders. Surely, a painting need not strictly mirror something in the external world. Paintings are objects in and of themselves, and they are not photographs (even photographs are not merely representations). Painter Georgia O’Keeffe went so far as to say that “There is nothing less real than realism.” Every painting involves the subjectivity of the artist. If not, why paint at all? Yet when the subject matter seems to fade away or blur into pure nonrepresentationalism, one wonders how to know what the painting is supposed to communicate. It may evoke a feeling, as Fujimura’s paintings often do, but how can that feeling be explained or articulated? Or are we merely guessing (at best)? This could be called the question of “aesthetic epistemology,” as Denver Seminary graduate Sarah Geis puts it. But few even consider this philosophical question, it seems, and thus effortlessly fall into emotivism, which snuffs out all discourse.

I have not settled these vexing queries. While I am drawn to Rouault like lead to a magnet because of his content (his representation of suffering in particular), I do not know in specific concepts why I am drawn to Fujimura. I appreciate (and even marvel at) the difficulty and inventiveness of his technique and the uniqueness of his synthesis of traditional Japanese painting and Western abstractionism. He is unique, easily recognizable (if you have studied his work) and well-established in the art world. Moreover, unlike so many twentieth century artists, his reason for being is not mere self-expression, or, at its worste, solipsism. As he writes in the book:

The main cause of this [aesthetic corruption in the twentieth century], or the pollution in the aesthetic river of culture is self-aggrandizement and a type of embezzlement made in the name of advancing the creative arts. . . . We pollute the landscape with irresponsible expressions in the name of progress and call them freedom of speech (12).

Or, as E.H. Gombrich observes in his classic Story of Art, “self-expression became the motive for art only after it has lost all other purposes.” If so, the meaningless self becomes a strident surd in an absurd world. The self can only bear so much of itself before it implodes, sucking others into its consumptive and voracious abyss. “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” as the poet Yeats said in “The Second Coming.”

But neither Rouault nor Fujimura are anarchists or self-aggrandizing. They have, rather, presented their aesthetics gifts, however different, to the world for our enjoyment and contemplation. This should stir our interests and provoke attention and appreciation. Let evangelicals reclaim art, in all its legitimate forms, under the Lordship of Christ.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Denver Seminary
January 2013

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October 17, 2009 by Makoto Fujimura | All Writings | 1 Comment
At Rouault Studio, Courtesy of Rouault Foundation, Paris
Georges Rouault, Reine de Cirque, 18.8″x12.4″x1″
Georges Rouault, Miserere Series
Georges Rouault, Christ on the Outskirts, Bridgestone Museum, Tokyo
Georges Rouault painting close up at Pompidou
At Pompidou looking at Rouault paintings, photo by Jean-Marie Porté
Makoto Fujimura Soliloquies — Joy, 64×80″, Minerals, Gold on Linen

130 William A. Dyrness, “Rouault: A Vision of Suffering and Salvation.” Pg. 108, Eerdmans Publishing, 1971

131 Georges Rouault, Correspondance [de] Georges Rouault [et] André Suarès (Paris: Gallimard, 1960), 49; quoted in Semblance and Reality in Georges Rouault, 1871-1958, ed. Stephen Schloesser (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008), 27.

132 At the Aspen Institute, 2009

133 Georges Rouault, Souvenirs intimes (Paris: E. Frapier, 1927), 51; quoted in Bernard Doering, “Lacrymae rerum: Creative Intuition of the Transapparent Reality,” in Semblance and Reality in Georges Rouault, 1871-1958, ed. Stephen Schloesser (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008), 390.

134 See “Art as Prayer,” International Arts Movement

135 I like to thank Dr. Paul Vitz for coining this term, at IAM lecture in 1998

136 pg. 25 Takashi Murakami, Superflat, Madra Publishing, 2000

137 Thanks to philopsopher Adrienne Chaplin for pointing out this book to me

138 Jacques Maritain, Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry, Meridian Books, pg. 131

139 See “River Grace,” International Arts Movement publication

140 See my Refractions essay on van Gogh

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

프란시스 쉐퍼 – 그러면 우리는 어떻게 살 것인가 introduction (Episode 1)

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

[ARTS 410] William Dyrness: The Relationship of Art and Theology

Published on Sep 14, 2013

Guest lecture in ARTS 410: Arts and the Bible.

At the 30:00 mark William Dyrness talks about studying under Rookmaaker.

 

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Hans Rookmaaker in discussion with students pictured above.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Schaeffer and Rookmaaker complemented each other in an extraordinary way that affected the actual lives of many people for much good! David Bruce Hegeman noted in

Comment Magazine in the article,

Clashing Cultures: Christian Art vs. Secular Art

The Importance of Hans Rookmaaker,

In Art and in the Life of Francis Schaeffer, 

November 2004 – V. 22 I. 9:

This meeting between Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rookmaaker was to have a profound impact on the history of the modern evangelical church… Schaeffer probed the younger art history student on the meaning of modern art, and the two of them pondered together the impact that post-Christian ideas and values had on European art and culture. Schaeffer already had an interest in culture and had begun visiting art museums after arriving in Europe. Rookmaaker might have been the first Christian Schaeffer had ever met who had seriously studied contemporary art and had the philosophical tools (via Dooyeweerd and his reading of philosophy in prison camp) to analyze and critique the arts from a biblical perspective. It turned out they both had a strong common interest in the relationship between art and Christianity and immediately became close, lifelong friends. Later, after Schaeffer had established L’Abri in the village of Humoz, Switzerland in 1955, Rookmaaker was a frequent visitor and lecturer to the Swiss community. Hans and Anky opened a Dutch branch of L’Abri in 1971.

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Laurel Gasque did a great job going into more detail about their relationship in the following article:

Hans Rookmaaker and Francis Schaeffer

Laurel Gasque is the Associate Editor of ArtWay and the author of Art and the Christian Mind: The Life and Work of H.R. Rookmaaker. She is also sessional lecturer in theology and the arts at Regent College, Vancouver, B.C. and adjunct professor of art history at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., Canada.

A European Continental reading of Rookmaaker is needed.So much of what has been written about him offers an American perspective on a person whose thinking was formed outside of American culture, even to some degree outside of Western culture since Rookmaaker’s formative years were spent in the Dutch East Indies.

This, together with a tendency to associate Rookmaaker with theological and philosophical thinkers, has masked his unique voice as an art critic and art historian informed by a Christian perspective.  Co-opting him to a specific theological perspective is not helpful for understanding his thinking, the dialogue between art and faith or the wider world of art today.  Rookmaaker needs to be seen in his own right.  In his time he was not separated from the world of the art that he talked about as are most of those who comment on him today.

The Calvinist thinkers he is attached to, such as Francis Schaeffer and Calvin Seerveld, had a different background.  Schaeffer was very much an American, though he lived the better part of his adult life in Europe.  Seerveld, though American, has lived in Canada for decades.  Providentially, Seerveld’s immigrant family gave him the gift of speaking Dutch and becoming multilingual. Schaeffer was monolingual, despite his living in Switzerland.  Rookmaaker was multilingual, something that has escaped his Anglophone critics, who have barely read his Complete Works translated into English for their convenience.

Schaeffer and Rookmaaker met in 1948 through Rookmaaker’s fiancée, Anky Huitker, who arranged a meeting for Hans with Schaeffer when he was in Amsterdam to help convene a meeting of the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC), a Fundamentalist response to the establishment of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Rookmaaker was ten years younger than Schaeffer, still a graduate student.  There is no doubt that his meeting with Schaeffer had an enormous impact on both of their lives. Their first encounter started with what was to be a half-hour long conversation that was supposed to help Rookmaaker learn about black music in America. (It is doubtful that Schaeffer knew a thing about this subject!)  Their discussion ended at 4:00 AM! To his credit, it seems that Schaeffer listened to this young man and thus received his first lesson in the history of jazz, blues and spirituals, but also in modern art as well.

There was definitely a meeting of minds as the two men entered into what was to become a life-long friendship, but this was not a systematic, symbiotic way of thinking that led to a joint intellectual project between the two men.  Rookmaaker, in fact, became Schaeffer’s tutor in art.  Again, to Schaeffer’s credit, he listened as best he could.  But he was already formed by both the American Christian Fundamentalism of Carl McIntire as well as the philosophical apologetics of Cornelius van Til, his teacher at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

There is no doubt that Rookmaaker appreciated having an older friend who opened him to a wider world of English speakers.  But he always remained his own man. The bond between Rookmaaker and Schaeffer was deep.  However, they were quite different from each other.  Heartfelt friendship does not necessarily mean total agreement, even when deep values and beliefs are held in common.  We see this, for example, in the profound friendship of C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield.

Schaeffer was an American evangelist with a Fundamentalist formation who was also an intellectual. Rookmaaker was a European intellectual with a Reformed formation who was in his own way an evangelist. Artists and art students came to faith after many of his lectures.  Rookmaaker was certainly not trying to recruit converts, but his presentations were convincing.  Schaeffer and Rookmaaker complemented each other in an extraordinary way that affected the actual lives of many people for much good.

Intellectually, they must be considered independently from each other in order to appreciate and to appropriate the direction in which Rookmaaker was heading. He was not the rationalist that Schaeffer tended to be.  Before Rookmaaker died in 1977 he had some Schaefferites worried about the direction of his thinking.  He was grounded and thinking on a number of fronts.  He was not afraid to go where many now associated with post-modernism are in their critique of modernity.  He equally espoused art creation by Christians in the contemporary world without any kind of control or constrictions on style.  To that end he mentored artists and cared lovingly for his art historian students, even when they did not understand clearly his formation, direction and mission.

The personal bond of friendship between Schaeffer and Rookmaaker must remain intact, but the intellectual trajectories of the two men must be separated in order to have a clearer idea of who Rookmaaker really was and what he actually thought and achieved.

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Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : 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,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaeffer—who always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their livesFrancis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

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I am featuring the late Mike Kelley today. Kelley’s art made me think of these quotes from Schaeffer:

Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art. 

(Francis Schaeffer, Art and the Bible)

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When speaking of John Cage and Marcel Duchamp (Duchamp was a big influence on Kelley):

“Art as anti-art when it is mere intellectual statement, divorced from reality of who people are and the fullness of what the universe is.”

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Francis Schaeffer in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? noted:

But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must ‘leap upstairs’ against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to
do so they have to deny their reason.” [page3 182]

This quote from Schaeffer also made me wish that Mike Kelley would have had the opportunity to see this video by Dr. Craig because it talks about those like Kelley who think the world is the result of time plus matter plus chance and how life is just absurd without God in the picture.

The Absurdity of Life Without God (William Lane Craig)

Uploaded on Sep 11, 2011

http://reasonablefaith.org – Is life any good or meaningful without the existence of God? Can man have any real value if atheism is true? Does God and Christianity serve as objective meaning to life? Dr. William Lane Craig answers some of these question in this important lecture.

Article: http://www.bethinking.org/suffering/t…

Interview: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list…

Atheism and the meaning of life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ti133…

Nihilism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cWLvp…

Is moral relativism livable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd5O0c…

Can science determine morality and ethics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45mU5U…

Failure: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list…

We welcome your comments in the Reasonable Faith forums:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/

Follow Reasonable Faith On Twitter: http://twitter.com/rfupdates

Add Reasonable Faith On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reasonablefai…

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From Architectural Digest:

Ahh...Youth!, Mike Kelley

Ahh…Youth!, Mike Kelley, 1991.
Image courtesy of Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts

Mike Kelley (1954-2012) – A Tribute

Published on Nov 18, 2013

Called one of the most significant artists of his generation, Stamps graduate Mike Kelley was an iconoclast who introduced a distinctive Detroit sensibility to the international art world with his references to everything from Soupy Sales to the Vernor’s gnome. He was a founding member of Destroy All Monsters, a collective formed in Ann Arbor in 1974 with artists Jim Shaw, Niagara and Cary Loren. A major retrospective of his work opened at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 2012, at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 2013 and will travel to MOMA PS1, NY in October 2013 and MOCA Los Angeles in 2014. Before his death in 2012, Kelley had begun work based on a life-sized replica of his childhood suburban Detroit home. The new ‘homestead’ has been relocated to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD).

Cary Loren, founding member of Destroy All Monsters, and Mary Clare Stevens, the Executive Director of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts and longtime Kelley friend and studio manager will speak. Their presentations will be followed by the screening of two videos documenting the homestead’s journey from downtown Detroit to Kelley’s former home in Westland, and back again.
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Mike Kelley, R.I.P.

Posted by 

Eric and I were very saddened today to learn of the death of Mike Kelley. Formerly of the band Destroy All Monsters (in the earlier, more experimental phases), Mike tried his hand in many disciplines – visual art, performance, experimental music. At the time of this writing, it’s been noted that his death (at age 57) seems to have been a suicide, Faux News suggests due to a breakup, but this doesn’t seem to be backed by any other sources I’ve seen among art blogs or sites, or more likely, people in the art world who knew him and had been in communication with him more recently.

It seems fortuitous that for Winter Solstice I’d given Eric the book collecting art from the early Destroy All Monsters zines. At the time I felt that way because there were only a limited number of these books printed and I’d managed to snag the last copy at St. Mark’s Bookstore. This adds an extra specialness to it. 

This is a page scanned from from said book, many of these collages were collaborative with the members of Destroy All Monsters, so it’s hard to say which elements are specifically Mike.

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AN ARTIST WITH ATTITUDE

Published on Dec 26, 2012

INTRO

The deceased LA-based artist, Mike Kelley, is one of the leading voices in contemporary culture in the US and Europe.

It’s been almost a year that Mike Kelley passed away, but those works left behind hasn’t been forgotten, the public get inspired from this artist with attitude.

Recently, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam presented its first major international traveling exhibition.

The museum features Mike Kelley, an artist who suddenly died in the beginning of 2012 and who is internationally regarded as one of the most influential modern artists.

SOUNDBITE(Dutch): CLAIRE VAN DE ELS, Curator
“The Mike Kelley exhibition shows around 200 his works. When you enter the exhibition the first thing you will see is a couple of banners that he has made, which is work from the late eighties. Then you enter a big space where a plaid is spread out on the floor. This work is called Lumpenprole. The next hall is called Half a man. That is a famous installation he has made between 1987 and 1992 in where we can see different sorts of textiles, under which his iconic tapestry that is made from teddy bears and in front of the tapestry you can see a table with candles. In this work Kelley has tried to connect the innocence of the bears with sin.” 

Mike Kelley’ s sudden death in the beginning of 2012, came as a shock for many of artists and his friends.

SOUNDBITE(English): ANN GOLDSTEIN, Art Director
“This exhibition was initiated with Mike’ s involvement. It has been in progress for many years. And it has been his sudden and tragic death in the beginning of this year was absolutely devastating for everyone and his absence is very profound, but the work speaks loud and clear. And as much as we miss him, this is the fact we are dealing with. The exhibition suddenly became a retrospective in all senses of the word and his presence is very much felt for those who knew and loved him. And for those who encounter his work for the first time I think they have a great opportunity for a baseline experience into the remarkably world, the remarkable cosmology that he has built with his work.”

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Mike Kelley pictured below:

Mike Kelley: “Day Is Done” | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Apr 30, 2010

Episode #104: Mike Kelley reveals how photographs from yearbooks and newspapers in Detroit served as the inspiration behind the performative project “Day Is Done,” shown installed at Gagosian Gallery.

Learn more about Mike Kelley: http://www.art21.org/artists/mike-kelley

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Nancy Schreiber & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Tom Bergin & Stacy Hruby. Editor: Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: Mike Kelley. Special Thanks: Gagosian Gallery, New York.

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The artist Max Estenger wrote on his blog:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Loose Ends: Mike Kelley & Trulee Grace Hall

The young woman who reportedly caused Mike Kelley much anguish in his final months posted this on Facebook today. Takeaway line: “I had to leave him in order to protect myself, I hope you all will try to understand and forgive me.”   

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Mike Kelley (1954-2012) and Thomas Kinkade (1958-2012) Have Gone Home

Kelley was an introvert saw repression as the enemy of sanity. He sought out and even embraced life’s darkness; a Poet Apostate who criticized “normative” values, systems of authority and consumer culture. As critics have pointed out his early use of stuffed animals was intended to “drive a wedge between sentimentality and childhood.” His savage critiques appealed to the jaded appetites of some of the art world’s leading collectors.

Kinkade and Kelley were the yin and yang of American art, one favored by conservative “red” America, the other by “blue.” Kinkade’s work was sold in shopping malls, at the Disney Store and on eBay, while Kelley’s was shown in elite galleries and contemporary art museums.

Yet, despite their differences, they both had a deep interest in the same subject matter: the revisiting of their childhood traumas as portrayed in the image of “home.”

Before his death by suicide in early February, Kelley was working on “Mobile Homeland,” an installation that was intended to recreate his childhood home in Detroit. In his final interview Kelly told Tulsa Kinney of Artillery Magazine that the subject was …” almost too fraught with psychology and dysfunction…things that could easily feel like an emotional burden.”

Home, as seen through a child’s eyes, was a subject that Kelley had dealt with before. In his 1995 installation “We Communicate” Kelly wrote texts for a set of children’s paintings that commented on the psychological underpinnings of each image. One of his commentaries says quite a bit about what he thought a painted image of a house could communicate:

“The house is a crudely scrawled heap surrounded by dark messy slashes of color. The surrounding shading produces an atmosphere that screams with anxiety. No German Expressionist has depicted the black torture of the soul better. Although Elaine is obviously an unhappy child, she is, at least, able to express this state of mind openly and need not hide behind the mask of socialization. She need not pretend to be a ‘good girl.’ The adult world of rules and order, symbolized by the house, is sinking back into an infantile fecal mound that Elaine has the capacity to control.”

Clearly, what Kelley had to say about the child’s way of coping — she was in control because she didn’t repress or pretend — is also an manifesto of his own social and personal ethos. “His subversive critique,” wrote George Melrod after Kelley’s death, “was not just aimed outward toward society at large, but seemingly inward at himself.”

By contrast, one of Kinkade’s signature images, “The Christmas Cottage,” is a sentimentalized image of the artist’s childhood home; Kinkade reportedly launched his artistic career to save it after he learned that his mother could no longer afford the mortgage. It has been stated that one in twenty homes in America is decorated with some kind of Kinkade print. You have to wonder: how many homes had “The Christmas Cottage” hanging over the fireplace when Countrywide posted the foreclosure papers on the front door?

The cottage, which glows as if it had swallowed the Star of Bethlehem, exudes a luminescent fairy tale vibe that Kinkade used as his shield against his life’s disappointments. By painting fairy tales, Kinkade was attempting to achieve what Bruno Bettelheim posited was a “…happy outcome, which the child cannot imagine on his own.” Kelley would have called Kinkade’s approach “denial.” Indeed, Kinkade expertly sugar-coated the subject matter of every one of his mass-reproduced images. No wonder one critic called them “visual Prozac.”

Kinkade reportedly died of “natural causes,” which I assume is a sugar-coating of the actual factors. The artist’s public outbursts — he once reportedly urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim while saying “This one’s for you, Walt.” — and his 2010 arrest for drunk driving suggest that the man’s demons were doing everything they could to burst out.

Kelley, by taking his own life, was characteristically honest. His suicide was his admission of unhappiness, a problem that he had discussed openly in his key works. At the time of his death Kelley was reportedly depressed after a breakup with his girlfriend.

Mike Kelley died “critically acclaimed.” Thomas Kinkade died “popular.” As Leonard Koscianski pointed out on Facebook, they both had their constituencies. They both had considerable public and financial success.

“Mike Kelley,” comments Leonard Koscianski, “made very high priced works that ridiculed middle class sentiment. His works were so expensive that they could never be owned by the middle class he disparaged.” His hanging mixed-media installation, “Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites,” sold at auction for just over $2.7 million dollars in 2006. Kelley, who had once addressed cultural consumerism with a fetishistic phallic candle display called “The Wages of Sin” was represented, at the time of his death, by the world’s most powerful contemporary art dealer, Larry Gagosian.

Kinkade’s art and the product line that grew from it was so successful that his art company was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and at one point had a market capitalization of $350 million (the total value of the stock) based on annual sales of $250 million. Kinkade, who described the art world as “a very small pond…a very inbred pond,” left behind a net worth that is in dispute. One source says “$70 million” another says the artist, who had faced lawsuits by the owners of Kinkade gallery franchises, died “piss-poor.” At the time of his death, Kinkade and his wife Nanette had been separated for more than a year.

Kelley’s bracingly strange and searchingly intellectual art appealed to America’s 1%. Kincade’s hyper-sincerity, and his celebration of Christ, baseball, and glowing cottages made him the favorite artist of America’s 99%. They were two American artists who, in their striking divergence, tell the story of a nation whose center seems ready to tear apart. Stress makes people look for extreme solutions, both in life and art.

Ultimately, both men seem to have suffered in catering to the almost schizophrenically divided tastes of American society. In public they both maintained powerful identities — a bad boy and a good boy — while in private each one got a bit lost trying to find his way “home” to private peace and reconciliation with his childhood experiences. It might be said — in psychoanalytic terms — that both Kelley and Kinkade ultimately failed to sublimate their impulses and idealizations into workable connections with the world.

Let’s hope, for Kinkade’s sake, that he is safely at home in Heaven. It would have to be a light-filled, cotton candy heaven where a compassionate Christ is present. In Kelley’s case, it is tougher to speculate on where his final home might be and who might comfort him. When Tulsa Kinney asked Kelley, during his final interview, if he ever believed in Heaven and Hell, he responded plainly:

‘No. I never believed in anything.’

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To those who have never believed in anything consider placing your faith alone in the Christ who came to earth and lived a perfect life then died for your sins.

Our views below concerning how to go to heaven  (this material is from Campus Crusade for Christ).

Just as there are physical laws that govern

the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws
that govern your relationship with God.

Law 1

God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.

God’s Love
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

God’s Plan
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”
[that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).

Why is it that most people are not experiencing that abundant life?

Because…

Law 2

Man is sinful and separated from God.
Therefore, he cannot know and experience
God’s love and plan for his life.

Man is Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn
self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken.
This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference,
is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

Man Is Separated
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).

Separation This diagram illustrates that God isholy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion
-but he inevitably fails.The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf…

Law 3

Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.
Through Him you can know and experience
God’s love and plan for your life.

He Died In Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

He Rose from the Dead
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… He was raised on the third day,
according to the Scriptures… He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.
After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to
the Father but through Me’” (John 14:6).

Bridge The Gulf This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.It is not enough just to know these three laws…

Law 4

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.

We Must Receive Christ
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children
of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as result of works that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
(Read John 3:1-8.)

We Receive Christ Through Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting
Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be.
Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross
for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.
We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

Circles

Self-Directed Life
S-Self is on the throne
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is outside the life
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by self, often
resulting in discord and frustration
Christ-Directed Life
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is in the life and on the throne
S-Self is yielding to Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan

Which circle best represents your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?


The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You Can Receive Christ Right Now by Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is talking with God)

God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude
of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.
Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this
prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

Now that you have received Christ

On this web site:
Copyrighted 2007 by Bright Media Foundation and Campus Crusade for Christ.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

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Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation 27 min I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

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

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