Saturday, January 8, 2011

Check out a new Francis Schaeffer site


Some guys (and at least one gal) at Redeemer put together an excellent new Francis Schaeffer study/research site.

Check it out here: Francis Schaeffer Studies

The writings of Francis Schaeffer were instrumental in the two years between college and seminary for me (1993-95). I was basically reformed after leaving Moody (but not exactly because of Moody), but wasn't quite able to put together a cogent worldview.

I read Schaeffer's A Christian Manifesto and things started to come together for me. I next read How Shall we Then Live? followed by The Church at the End of the 20th Century. I was hooked. Over a two year period I read every Schaeffer book, pamphlet, or paper I could find. I actually chose Covenant Seminary based on their opening of a new "Francis Schaeffer Institute" at the seminary. Two of my Covenant professors, Jerram Barrs and David Calhoun, were personally mentored by Francis Schaeffer in the 70's.

Two of my favorite books by Schaeffer, the only ones I have read twice in their entirety or more, are True Spirituality and The Letters of Francis Schaeffer. Letters is a compilation of various pastoral correspondence between him and students, congregants, or people he was counseling. Francis Schaeffer signed many of his letters "In the Lamb, Francis Schaeffer". For that very reason I sign my letters "In the Lamb, Tony".

People ask me why I like Francis Schaeffer so much? Very simply, Schaeffer possessed a near perfect balance of philosopher/theologian/bible scholar/and pastor I have ever come across. Most other authors I have read fall in to one or two of those categories. Schaeffer qualifies as top notch in all four. I'm tempted to add that Schaeffer was a prophet in addition to these other roles. It's almost eery reading How Shall We Then Live?, which shows the rise of Western Civilization and forecasts it fall (written in 1976), and seeing how it has all come to pass. Also, he may well have had the sweetest chin beard in the history of churchmen.

Learn more about Francis Schaeffer by checking out the site when you have a chance. The guys are doing a great job under the leadership of Dan Guinn.

5 comments:

Michael Lockridge said...

I became a Christian while in the Army. Larry Clark, the man who lead me to Jesus, gave me a copy of True Spirituality shortly after my salvation. It was instrumental in grounding me in the faith.

I have a great fondness for this man and his teachings. Thanks for the link.

Woody Woodward said...

I agree with you my dear brother, “Schaeffer was a Prophet.” I remember going through the “How then Shall we Live” series, Dan Quinn’s insightful comments and personal thoughts on this great prophetic man of God made the entire series come alive. Hard to believe his works and writings are over 35 years old. He is Gone but certainly not forgotten. So thankful that Dan has the vision and wisdom to use his gifts, taking Schaeffer’s work to a media level where younger folks can explore “How Then Shall I Live” and ask the questions that few men but Schaeffer are capable of answering. Oz Guinness is a man I could listen to for hours. What a powerful insightful “almost prophet” for our times.

FrancisSchaefferStudies.org said...

Thanks for posting this Tony. I always love hearing how Schaeffer has influenced other people's life. We are definitely a recipient of that important influence in Tony's life, and I can say that I have benefited much from it myself, sitting under solid Biblical teaching.

When L'Abri started Schaeffer kept telling his family and those involved with the work, "We have this challenge, if the Lord calls us to it, of being a very small work always. But if He were to make it significant, and a bigger work, to be prepared to accept that, in the same spirit, of just doing God's will as he leads it." This sort of quote is what makes me passionate about Schaeffer, as it was never about him and it was always about Christ. I deeply want to see the team at franscischaefferstudies.org follow this example. What we are doing could be big, and there is this sense of that, but it could remain just another web site. Our goal is really to just do what naturally leads from a truly changed heart. To use all of your gifts, with all of your might to display your love for God and others. Making a web site is really the least we could do!

FrancisSchaefferStudies.org said...

Phil, gave me a verse the other day that hits home and we will be using often: The Apostle Pauls says, "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us." Phil 3:17. As Phil told me, "This is really all that we are doing," and I could not agree more!

I really enjoyed Woody's comment. It's important to note that Schaeffer was so in tune with the gift that God gave him that he was "prophet-like," He definitely had his thumb on the pulse of the culture of his day and where it was headed. His works still speak into where we are today and this is why it is so important.

Jack (JZAAK) McGregor at L'Abri MN, shared with Jason, that he is excited to see some people of the next generation taking interest in the philosophical/theological content of Schaeffer, because their experience has been that there are many who are merely embracing the romantic notions of L'Abri. This is where Schaeffer's predictions from his work The New Super-Spirituality come to light. We must realize that much of the current church are constantly focused on romantic ideas of faith. In this mode of thinking Jesus becomes only a feel-good, lovey-buddy god. While it seems innocent, it is actually a symptom of what happens when Christianity has lost it's theological truth-content. So we again find, in this mode of thinking that we have no answers for a watching world, and moreover only limited answers for ourselves as Christians. This is not the Christianity of the Bible. So you can see, this is what we are up against. FSS is really about impacting that mode of thinking, with all our might we need to uphold those who are rightly teaching the need to understand our faith and world and provide Biblical answers as well as teach them again to a Church that is often ignorant of it's need and hungry for it.

Thanks everyone! Your prayers are appreciated. We are hopeful to provide more and more ways for interactivity with the site, so keep checking back.
Dan Guinn
franscischaefferstudies.org

FrancisSchaefferStudies.org said...

Jack (JZAAK) McGregor at L'Abri MN, shared with Jason, that he is excited to see some people of the next generation taking interest in the philosophical/theological content of Schaeffer, because their experience has been that there are many who are merely embracing the romantic notions of L'Abri. This is where Schaeffer's predictions from his work The New Super-Spirituality come to light. We must realize that much of the current church are constantly focused on romantic ideas of faith. In this mode of thinking Jesus becomes only a feel-good, lovey-buddy god. While it seems innocent, it is actually a symptom of what happens when Christianity has lost it's theological truth-content. So we again find, in this mode of thinking that we have no answers for a watching world, and moreover only limited answers for ourselves as Christians. This is not the Christianity of the Bible. So you can see, this is what we are up against. FSS is really about impacting that mode of thinking, with all our might we need to uphold those who are rightly teaching the need to understand our faith and world and provide Biblical answers as well as teach them again to a Church that is often ignorant of it's need and hungry for it.

Thanks everyone! Your prayers are appreciated. We are hopeful to provide more and more ways for interactivity with the site, so keep checking back.
Dan Guinn
franscischaefferstudies.org