The lasting contribution of Francis Schaeffer

Jun 16, 2021 by

by J John, Christian Today:

In my early days as a Christian one of the most influential figures around was the theologian, philosopher, pastor and preacher Francis Schaeffer. I have always valued his books and regret that I didn’t spend time with him at L’Abri.

Born in Pennsylvania, USA in 1912, Schaeffer was the only child of working-class parents with no Christian faith. In his youth he became fascinated by the great questions of philosophy and, finding answers in the Bible, became a Christian at 18. After studying in a liberal arts college in Virginia, he enrolled in a theologically conservative seminary to train as a pastor. In 1935 he married Edith, the daughter of missionaries with Hudson Taylor’s China Inland Mission. She was to be an enormous support to Schaeffer and his ministry and together they were to have four children.

In his early years as a Presbyterian pastor, Schaeffer found himself focusing on defending a Christianity that took the Bible seriously against the increasingly liberal version. After the Second World War, Schaeffer’s denomination sent him to investigate the state of Christianity in Europe. He returned with an alarming account of how many European churches were slipping away from any confidence in the Bible as God’s word. One lasting influence of the trip came from Schaeffer’s many visits to art galleries and museums, something that deepened his lifelong love of western culture.

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See also Possible answers to basic philosophical questions: a talk given by Francis Schaeffer, from bethinking

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