Francis Schaeffer's Apologetics

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Robin, Jan 15, 2007.

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  1. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    "....for better or worse his direct personal influence on Falwell and the rest of the evangelical pro-life movement is indisputable. Schaeffer was probably the main figure that awakened evangelicals to a pro-life stance. Prior to that it was considered a Catholic issue. I remember seeing Falwell quoted as recalling Schaeffer telling him something like "Jerry, you're doing a good job preaching the gospel, [referring to Falwell's "Old Time Gospel Hour"] but you are not saying anything about abortion." Without Schaeffer's influence there would have been no Moral Majority or Operation Rescue." Chris

    :agree: :amen:

    r.
     
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Inconsistency. We are all inconsistent at times. I am not saying that you can't enjoy his apologetics (although I would want harder-hitting stuff). Simply you need to stop railing at theonomists for "culture concerns" when that was actually a big concern of Schaeffer.

    Not really. I understand both.

    Schaeffer also hated the "sacred-secular" dichotomy, which a lot of Reformed people today are liking for some reasons.
     
  3. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    The problem with theonomy is it confuses the covenants and the Kingdom of God.

    There is no problem with caring and acting in culture, per se'.

    :deadhorse:
     
  4. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    J, I can only speak to your posts I've read concerning Amill. They are simplistic understandings, at best.

    I've yet to read an accurate definition of A from you...since Bahnsen gets it wrong, I shouldn't be surprised that those who depend on him do also.

    Repeating the mistakes of the "Rabbi X" about XYZ is a danger we all face at all times.

    Humility dictates Christians walk circumspectly in regards to this.

    My comments about this in this thread stop here.

    r.
     
  5. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I have to say that Dr Francis Schaeffer has had an influence in my thinking and world view.

    I quite enjoy reading his books. Recently read Genesis in Time and Space, thought it was great.

    That said, I try to make sure anything I read squares with the Scriptures. Where it doesn't I "spit it out". (Take the meat leave the bones sorta thing)
     
  6. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I've read a number of writers who attribute some of their thoughts and ideas to F.A. Schaeffer. Sometimes I wonder if we're talking about the same man. Take the Right to Life movement. At first they almost stood on his shoulders, quoting him left and right. And yet I could never identify with them myself because they said and did things that were as repugnant to me as the pro-abortion movement. At that time I was also advocating Schaeffer's works. I couldn't reconcile these things.

    I think that we all make that very simple and common mistake of reading things into the things that really hit home to us, or of justifying our own trains of thought through some well-repsected teacher or leader, whether or not he would actually stand by our side on these matters.

    F.A. Schaeffer was a premillennialist, unabashedly so. I couldn't understand his determined and solid Reformed teachings with this, but it was unmistakably so. You see, his teachings on moral and legal issues went a long ways along with my amillennial background, though our different milennial views hardly played any part in our theology as a determinative factor. That much we had in common. But where theology touched on escatological things, such as the providence of God in the vicissitudes of life, I still could not how our different eschatological views made a difference. And they should have.

    Was I reading my own ideas and values into Schaeffer? Maybe I was at the time. But since then I have come a long ways in learning to critique myself, to know the difference between when I am defending my own ideas and when I am defending confessed ecclesiastical truths. Jacob, as a matter of fact, gave me one of the most helpful admonitions that I have yet received in the fellowship of this Board, and he did so defending not his own views, but rather those values we all hold in common. And he corrected me on this very point. Things like this help us to appreciate the writings of others, for the things that arise in our thinking while we are reading their works. It isn't wrong to attribute to them the credit for that.

    But our thoughts are our own. Its like when we read poetry. I remember an episode of The Waltons when it was Livy's birthday and John Boy read her a poem. She responded by saying that they were beautiful words, but that she didn't understand the poem. All the same, one stanza stood out for her, and she had to remark on it, how it made her think about some things. All writing has this to some degree, some more some less, even lectures and sermons. Communication does that, for that is its aim.

    I'm not afraid to tell you how Schaeffer's writings influenced me. I think I know how to tell the difference between him and myself, without reading myself into him. The important thing is that I look to where he himself would have had me look, namely the Bible, and not to him.

    He was indeed an influence upon many people for good. But he was a man, a servant of God. Just as we have to distinguish between his thoughts and ours, so we also have to be able to distinguish between God's precepts and our percepts. The former are set in stone, but the latter are always in a state of change, growing as we grow in maturity, experience, wisdom and understanding.

    Schaeffer was not a disciple of any lesser movement than that of the true faith. Methods, philosophies, and theories were secondary, not primary. He even placed the Westminster Standards in subordination to the Word, that they could only be understood within that context, and not in the context of our theories or philosophies or methodologies. That was why asking him about his methodology always elicited from him an answer away from methods and toward that of truths. And like any of us, his thoughts were also influenced by others, which he also struggled to keep separate from the precepts of God.

    We each may have our ideas and ideologies, and think that we are guided by the confessed doctrines of the historic church. But we would do well to let truth be our guide in these matters. Biting and scratching at each other does not promote truth, even if you're right. We should approach every discussion as if we have nothing to lose except our own conceits and deceits, and have everything to gain. Do you think that someone's mouth-shutting abilitiy or methodology can avail any against the truth? How absurd! There isn't a professor or doctor of theology on this earth that has that kind of muscle in his arguments, even if they can stand on the dais and make a fool out of anybody that disagrees with them. A person is only fooled if he wants to be. And he wants to be if he follows his own thoughts as if they were the Bible, or someone else's works as if they were the Bible. It is only man's writings, nothing more. Even if the Spirit is working through a man's writings, such as happened with Schaeffer's writings, the Spirit is pointing us to the Word through them, not to the man or his writings.

    Schaeffer knew this, and held that as his supreme value in his teachings and writings. If we don't reflect that in our own writings and conversations, then no matter how much or how deeply we have studied Schaeffer, we have not understood him at all. He tried to use his communication skills to bring us back to the Word.

    If we are reading our own things into his writings, that's OK. The mistake is when we credit him for things he never stood for. But the mistake is also when we credit God and the Bible for things it never says too. We're going to grow a lot more yet, and we have to be ready to let temporal things fall away so that we may give up the way truth is for us in favour of the way truth really is.
     
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Robin, I can only speak to your posts I've read concerning postmill. They are simplistic understandings at best.
    I've yet to read an accurate definition of P from you...since Riddlebarger gets it wrong, I shouldn't be surprised that those who depend on him do also. See Robin, two can play at this game. Remember when Paul nailed you on slandering and misreprsenting others with heavy-handed posts? Well, yours right now is an example of that.

    How can you possibly fail to see that you are merely just being mean and flippant at these points? I don't know...maybe you dont' see.

    I will take note when you do.
     
  8. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    "We each may have our ideas and ideologies, and think that we are guided by the confessed doctrines of the historic church. But we would do well to let truth be our guide in these matters. Biting and scratching at each other does not promote truth, even if you're right. We should approach every discussion as if we have nothing to lose except our own conceits and deceits, and have everything to gain. Do you think that someone's mouth-shutting abilitiy or methodology can avail any against the truth? How absurd! There isn't a professor or doctor of theology on this earth that has that kind of muscle in his arguments, even if they can stand on the dais and make a fool out of anybody that disagrees with them. A person is only fooled if he wants to be. And he wants to be if he follows his own thoughts as if they were the Bible, or someone else's works as if they were the Bible. It is only man's writings, nothing more. Even if the Spirit is working through a man's writings, such as happened with Schaeffer's writings, the Spirit is pointing us to the Word through them, not to the man or his writings.

    Schaeffer knew this, and held that as his supreme value in his teachings and writings. If we don't reflect that in our own writings and conversations, then no matter how much or how deeply we have studied Schaeffer, we have not understood him at all. He tried to use his communication skills to bring us back to the Word.

    If we are reading our own things into his writings, that's OK. The mistake is when we credit him for things he never stood for. But the mistake is also when we credit God and the Bible for things it never says too. We're going to grow a lot more yet, and we have to be ready to let temporal things fall away so that we may give up the way truth is for us in favour of the way truth really is." JohnV

    :agree: :amen: This is a very meaningful point, John! Thank you.

    r.
     
  9. InwooJLee

    InwooJLee Puritan Board Freshman

    Academy Lectures on Francis Schaeffer Now Complete

    here
     
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