Francis A. Schaeffer b. 1912 – d. 1984
Francis August Schaeffer was an American evangelical theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. He is best known for co-founding the L’Abri community in Switzerland with his wife Edith Schaeffer, née Seville and for his iconic signature book How Shall We Then Live which was also made into a documentary video.
“We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“I am convinced that when Nietzsche came to Switzerland and went insane, it was not because of venereal disease, though he did have this disease. Rather, it was because he understood that insanity was the only philosophic answer if the infinite-personal God does not exist.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“If we as Christians do not speak out as authoritarian governments grow from within or come from outside, eventually we or our children will be the enemy of society and the state. No truly authoritarian government can tolerate those who have real absolute by which to judge its arbitrary absolutes and who speak out and act upon that absolute.”
– Francis A. Schaeffer
“If there is no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the living God.”
– Francis A. Schaeffer
“True spirituality covers all of reality. There are things the Bible tells us to do as absolutes, which are sinful – which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these things the Lordship of Christ covers all of life and all of life equally. It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.”
– Francis A. Schaeffer
“To make no decision in regard to the growth of authoritarian government is already a decision for it.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“The moral absolutes rest upon God’s character. The moral commands He has given to men are an expression of His character. Men as created in His image are to live by choice on the basis of what God is. The standards of morality are determined by what conforms to His character, while those things which do not conform are immoral.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society, the way that a child catches the measles. But people with understanding realize that their presuppositions should be *chosen* after a careful consideration of which worldview is true.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“If man is not made in the image of God, nothing then stands in the way of inhumanity. There is no good reason why mankind should be perceived as special. Human life is cheapened. We can see this in many of the major issues being debated in our society today: abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, the increase of child abuse and violence of all kinds, pornography …, and the routine torture of political prisoners in many parts of the world, the crime explosion, and the random violence which surrounds us.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“When a man comes under the blood of Christ, his whole capacity as a man is refashioned. His soul is saved, yes, but so are his mind and his body. True spirituality means the lordship of Christ over the total man.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“People have presuppositions… By ‘presuppositions’, we mean the basic way that an individual looks at life – his worldview. The grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. A person’s presuppositions provide the basis for their values- and therefore the basis for their decisions.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“In face of this modern nihilism, Christians are often lacking in courage. We tend to give the impression that we will hold on to the outward forms whatever happens, even if God really is not there. But the opposite ought to be true of us, so that people can see that we demand the truth of what is there and that we are not dealing merely with platitudes. In other words, it should be understood that we take this question of truth and personality so seriously that if God were not there we would be among the first of those who had the courage to step out of the queue.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
“If we as Christians do not speak out as authoritarian governments grow from within or come from outside, eventually we or our children will be the enemy of society and the state. No truly authoritarian government can tolerate those who have a real absolute by which to judge its arbitrary absolutes and who speak out and act upon the absolute. This was the issue with the early church in regard to the Roman Empire, and though the specific issue will in all probability take a different form than Caesar-worship, the basic issue of having an absolute by which to judge the state and society will be the same.” – Francis Schaeffer in How Should We Then Live?
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