THE FRANCIS AND EDITH
Explore Francis and Edith Schaeffer's lectures, sermons, and ideas.
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Although Francis Schaeffer started out as a Presbyterian pastor in the States, he came to wider attention in the late 1960s through the unusual ministry of L’Abri, which he and his wife, Edith, founded in Switzerland. By then he was in his late 40s and the work was barely 10 years old. Dozens of people visited their home in the Alps: they’d heard it was somewhere they could find ‘honest answers to honest questions’. Without publicity of any kind the trickle turned into a stream and the stream into a flood, especially after his first books in 1968 (‘Escape from Reason’ and ‘The God who is There’).
This led to many more books and to an illustrious and much-appreciated international ministry. Many of his readers likened him to C S Lewis, not because of any similarity in style (they couldn’t have been more different), but because his ideas were similarly powerful. Each in his own way knew how to expose the weaknesses of the dominant humanistic worldview, indeed, the weaknesses of all other worldviews. Without a doubt, Schaeffer became one of the greatest apologists of the 20th-century.
However, Schaeffer's central concern was neither philosophy nor culture. His most fundamental concern was always the truth of the Bible. He read it first as a mature teenager - without any outside help, interestingly – and he came to understand that Christianity is more than just a set of superstitious beliefs, rather, an objectively true account of what reality actually is. In fact, nearly two-thirds of his recorded work is a sustained eulogy of the glories of God’s written Word!
Most people associate Dr. Schaeffer with the word ‘apologetics’, but this is only partially correct. A failure to understand his devotion to the Bible is to miss the whole point of Schaeffer’s life and work. The last thing he wanted to do was to establish a ‘school of apologetics’. For him, the issue was quite simply this: does what God has said in his (written) Word merit attention, and will we obey it? In short, all that he taught was pointed to this end: that we read the Bible for ourselves, just as he did as a young man, and thus find the only adequate resolution of all our questions and difficulties, just as he did. Jesus called that ‘having life and having it more abundantly’.
6 July 2020