A Christian Manifesto, by Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer
This address was delivered by the late Dr. Schaeffer in 1982 at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is based on one of his books, which bears the same title.
“Christians, in the last 80 years or so, have only been seeing things as bits and pieces which have gradually begun to trouble them and others, instead of understanding that they are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one; things such as overpermissiveness, pornography, the problem of the public schools, the breakdown of the family, abortion, infanticide (the killing of newborn babies), increased emphasis upon the euthanasia of the old and many, many other things.
“All of these things and many more are only the results. We may be troubled with the individual thing, but in reality we are missing the whole thing if we do not see each of these things and many more as only symptoms of the deeper problem. And that is the change in our society, a change in our country, a change in the Western world from a Judeo-Christian consensus to a Humanistic one. That is, instead of the final reality that exists being the infinite creator God; instead of that which is the basis of all reality being such a creator God, now largely, all else is seen as only material or energy which has existed forever in some form, shaped into its present complex form only by pure chance.
“I want to say to you, those of you who are Christians or even if you are not a Christian and you are troubled about the direction that our society is going in, that we must not concentrate merely on the bits and pieces. But we must understand that all of these dilemmas come on the basis of moving from the Judeo-Christian world view — that the final reality is an infinite creator God — over into this other reality which is that the final reality is only energy or material in some mixture or form which has existed forever and which has taken its present shape by pure chance.”
Francis Schaeffer (January, 30 1912 – May 15, 1984) was an internationally known Christian scholar, thinker, and pastor who, along with his wife Edith, founded L’Abri Fellowship. He is known for his prominent stance against both Secular and Religious Modernism (Liberalism), Existentialism, and Secular Naturalism. His sweeping analysis of historical movements, culture, the arts, and government, and his writings have continued to influence many in fields from philosophy, theology, and the arts to general science. Likewise, his particular take on presuppositional apologetics has continued to be a significant discussion in Christian apologetics. Numerous Christian scholars today give credance to Schaeffer’s teaching for both opening their intellect, as well as having been a substantial influence in their lives and ministries.
Schaeffer is known for a significant group of teachings that both encapsulate the historic Protestant Christian position and also form a significant response to Liberalism. Here is a general list:
An emphasis on the inerrancy of scripture.
The Biblical emphasis on the dignity of mankind as created in the image of God.
The stance for santity of LIFE and the stance against abortion, infanticide and euthenasia.
The understanding of “true-truth,” as substantial truth for life and godliness.
A moment-by-moment spirituality that brings reality in the Christian walk.
The call to a life of prayer.
An intellectual spirituality and apologetic that engages both the heart and the mind.
The belief in the need to give honest answers to honest questions.
An emphasis on the role of sincere hospitality in evangelism.
A proper Christian worldview and worldview thinking.
A cultural apologetic that engages culture and informs the mind.
The application of Biblical truth to the whole of life, even government.
Standing for Biblical truth without compromise in the midst of a post-Christian culture.
The practice of a proper balance of truth and love. (“Truth without love is ugly and love without truth is compromise.”)
The belief that pre-evangelism is no soft option.
The emphasis on a presuppositional approach to apologetics.
The “Final Apologetic,” (Jn. 17:20-21) the practice and balance of living out an observable love toward true Christians without compromise, as a demonstration to a watching world, so that the world may know that God sent His Son.
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