Francis Schaeffer
American theologian
Francis Schaeffer
Francis August Schaeffer was an American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. He is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L'Abri community in Switzerland. Opposed to theological modernism, Schaeffer promoted a more historic Protestant faith and a presuppositional approach to Christian apologetics which he believed would answer the questions of the age.
Biography
Francis Schaeffer's personal information overview.
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Rekha Basu: Here's why Bachmann is so alarming to many - Baxter Bulletin
Google News - over 5 years
One of her major influences was the late evangelical Francis Schaeffer, who believed the federal government was controlling citizens through psychotropic drugs and espoused a violent overthrow of government if Roe v. Wade wasn't overturned
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Michele Bachmann and Dominionism Paranoia - Patheos
Google News - over 5 years
... been influenced by certain aspects of Rushdoony's writings emphatically reject his understanding of biblical law, as do I. Third, the key Christian influences on Bachman are not Rushdoony and his followers, but Francis Schaeffer and Nancy Pearcey
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Tougher Questions for the Candidates - New York Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
by the evangelist Francis Schaeffer was a life-altering event for you. That series stresses the “inerrancy” — the literal truth — of the Bible. Do you believe the Bible consists of literal truths, or that it is to be taken more metaphorically? 2
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Christian dominionists eyeing Detroit, Muslims, demons? - Detroit Metro Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Here's how The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza describes the movement, which Bachman embraced through the theologian Francis Schaeffer: [Schaeffer] was a major contributor to the school of thought now known as Dominionism, which relies on Genesis 1:26,
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Take look at Bachmann's mentor - Indianapolis Star
Google News - over 5 years
The rise of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has attracted new attention to a person she describes as one of her intellectual mentors, Francis Schaeffer. Reporters are scrambling to figure out Schaeffer, who died in 1984,
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Bachmann and dominionism - Kansas City Star
Google News - over 5 years
The two chief culprits allegedly spreading this pernicious ominionism to Bachmann and others are the prominent Christian intellectuals Francis Schaeffer and Nancy Pearcey. Accusing Schaeffer and Pearcey of peddling dominionism - and associating Bachman
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I could have become Michele Bachmann. - CNN (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The story describes Bachmann's influences - including figures like Francis Schaeffer and David Noebel, who most Americans have never heard of but who are superstars in conservative Christian circles - and I found them all familiar faces from my
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Francis Schaeffer - Politico (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
PBS has this useful video on Francis Schaeffer, the evangelical thinker and activist who, Ryan Lizza argued in his piece this week, is central to explaining Michele Bachmann's thinking, and who veered into stranger political terrain in his later years
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WaPo Promotes Book About 'Insanity' of Religious Right and Their 'Profound ... - NewsBusters (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
That "God of the Bible" is an awful being: Frank contemplates women primarily through his mother, a beautiful daughter of missionaries and the organizer and enabler of L'Abri and of the career of Francis Schaeffer. Frank makes the case that Edith has
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Jane Smiley reviews Frank Schaeffer's 'Sex, Mom, and God' - Washington Post
Google News - over 5 years
Frank contemplates women primarily through his mother, a beautiful daughter of missionaries and the organizer and enabler of L'Abri and of the career of Francis Schaeffer. Frank makes the case that Edith has lived the distortions of Biblical discourse
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YMCA gives inaugural service award to Ron Kolar - The Downey Patriot
Google News - over 5 years
Ron chose the name because of his admiration for one of his favorite authors, Dr. Francis Schaeffer. Dr. Schaeffer was a theologian who founded L'Abri Communal Referral Center in Switzerland. From this study center, individuals could seek answers to
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How Pat Robertson Ignored My Advice, Jerry Falwell Took It and Pulled in ... - Lew Rockwell
Google News - over 5 years
In 1982, Pat Robertson invited me, Francis Schaeffer, and lawyer John Whitehead to have dinner with him. He wanted advice on what to do with his ministry. He flew us in and paid for our rooms. That was the extent of out remuneration
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The Way We Were - Brazil Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
To this Francis Schaeffer comments, "To whatever degree a society allows the teaching of the Bible to bring forth its natural conclusions, it is able to have form and freedom in society and government." It was on the basis of these so-called Biblical
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Sex, mom, God, evangelicals and apple pie - National Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
His father, the brilliant Presbyterian theologian Francis Schaeffer, was the intellectual father of the movement. He channeled the countercultural spiritual yearnings of '60s-era Jesus Freaks into the right-wing movement that now dominates the
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Left-leaning Christians to rally around 'Wild Goose' - USA Today
Google News - over 5 years
Franciscan friar Richard Rohr will lead a workshop; as will "recovering evangelical" writer Frank Schaeffer, son of the 1970s evangelical icon Francis Schaeffer. Unlike other Christian music festivals, the musicians invited to perform at Wild Goose are
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Francis Schaeffer
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1984
    Age 72
    Schaeffer died of lymphoma on May 15, 1984, in Rochester, Minnesota.
    More Details Hide Details In contrast to Schaeffer's own experience as a single child of a father with a third-grade education and a depressed mother, he grew up with a drive to understand reality in its complexity, including the glorious and tragic human realities. He was deeply engaged in the lives of each of his four children, continuously available to them, showing and explaining art, history, city and country life, philosophy, Roman ruins and medieval and Renaissance efforts to civilize a damaged human history. He enjoyed watching people, engaging them in conversation and showing his children the joy and tragedy of human existence. He laid out for them the philosophic foundations of societies without being idealistic about any of them.
  • 1982
    Age 70
    In 1982, John Warwick Montgomery nominated Schaeffer for an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, which was conferred in 1983 by the Simon Greenleaf School of Law, Anaheim, California in recognition of his apologetic writings and ministry.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1981
    Age 69
    Sara Diamond and Frederick Clarkson have written articles tracing the activism of numerous key figures in the Christian Right to the influence of Francis Schaeffer. According to Diamond: "The idea of taking dominion over secular society gained widespread currency with the 1981 publication of Schaeffer's book A Christian Manifesto.
    More Details Hide Details The book sold 290,000 copies in its first year, and it remains one of the movement's most frequently cited texts." Diamond summarizes the book and its importance to the Christian Right: Frederick Clarkson explains that this had practical applications: Analyses of Schaeffer as the major intellectual influence on Dominionism can be found in the works of authors such as Diamond and Chip Berlet. Other authors argue against a close connection with dominionism, for example Irving Hexham of the University of Calgary, who maintains that Schaeffer's political position has been misconstrued as advocating the Dominionist views of R. J. Rushdoony, who is a Christian Reconstructionist. Hexham indicates that Schaeffer's essential philosophy was derived from Herman Dooyeweerd, not Rushdoony, and that Hans Rookmaaker introduced Schaeffer to his writings. Dooyeweerd was a Dutch legal scholar and philosopher, following in the footsteps of Neo-Calvinist Abraham Kuyper.
    Schaeffer's book A Christian Manifesto was published in 1981 and later delivered as a sermon in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details It was intended as a Christian answer to The Communist Manifesto of 1848 and the Humanist Manifesto documents of 1933 and 1973. Schaeffer's diagnosis is that the decline of Western Civilization is due to society having become increasingly pluralistic, resulting in a shift "away from a world view that was at least vaguely Christian in people's memory... toward something completely different." Schaeffer argues that there is a philosophical struggle between the people of God and the secular humanists. In the sermon version of the book, Schaeffer defines secular humanism as the worldview where "man is the measure of all things". He claims that critics of the Christian right miss the mark by confusing the "humanist religion" with humanitarianism, the humanities, or love of humans. He describes the conflict with secular humanism as a battle in which "these two religions, Christianity and humanism, stand over against each other as totalities." He writes that the decline of commitment to objective truth that he perceives in the various institutions of society is "not because of a conspiracy, but because the church has forsaken its duty to be the salt of the culture."
  • 1978
    Age 66
    In 1978, Schaeffer asked a group of Reformed Episcopal Clergy to research his thoughts and current trends, forming a church guild called "The Society of Reformed Philosophical Thinkers".
    More Details Hide Details This was merged in 1988 with "Into Thy Word Ministries", which was then transformed into the "The Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development" in 1998. Its purpose is to strategize how to reach and train pastors and church leaders to focus on Christ centered principles. Its aim is to point the church back to "true-Truth" and "true spirituality". The foundation develops comprehensive curriculum for pastors, church planters and church leaders. Francis Schaeffer is credited with helping spark a return to political activism among Protestant evangelicals and fundamentalists in the late 1970s and early 1980s, especially in relation to the issue of abortion. In his memoir Crazy for God, Schaeffer's son Frank takes credit for pressing his father to take on the abortion issue, which Schaeffer initially considered "too political". Schaeffer called for a challenge to what he saw as the increasing influence of secular humanism. Schaeffer's views were expressed in two works, his book entitled A Christian Manifesto, as well as the book and film series, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?
  • FIFTIES
  • 1971
    Age 59
    In 1971, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts.
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  • 1965
    Age 53
    Schaeffer eventually sided with the Bible Presbyterian Church Columbus Synod following the BPC Collingswood and BPC Columbus Split and became a member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod when the Bible Presbyterian Church's Columbus Synod merged with the Reformed Presbyterian Church's Columbus Synod in 1965, a denomination which would merge with the Presbyterian Church in America, in 1982.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1954
    Age 42
    Schaeffer received numerous honorary degrees. In 1954, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Highland College in Long Beach, California.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1948
    Age 36
    In a 1948 article in The Bible Today, Schaeffer explained his own apologetics and how he walked a middle path between evidentialism and presuppositionalism, noting that "If the unsaved man was consistent he would be an atheist in religion, an irrationalist in philosophy (including a complete uncertainty concerning 'natural laws'), and completely a-moral in the widest sense." J. Budziszewski summarizes the article about this middle path approach by writing:
    More Details Hide Details On the other hand, evidentialists are right to assert that between Christian and anti–Christian systems of thought there is always a point of contact in the shape of reality itself. The reason for this point of contact, he argued, is that nonbelievers cannot bring themselves to be completely consistent with their own presuppositions, and this inconsistency is a result of what many call common grace and is in fact the reality of God having made, and spoken into, a defined and unavoidable creation. "Thus, illogically", he wrote, "men have in their accepted worldviews various amounts of that which is ours. But, illogical though it may be, it is there and we can appeal to it." Schaeffer came to use this middle path as the basis for his method of evangelism which he called "Taking the roof off". An example of Taking the roof off in written form can be found in Schaeffer's work entitled Death in the City. Nancy Pearcey also describes two books by Schaeffer, Escape From Reason and The God Who Is There in this way:
    In 1948, the Schaeffer family moved to Switzerland and in 1955 established the community called L'Abri (French for "the shelter").
    More Details Hide Details Serving as both a philosophy seminar and a spiritual community, L'Abri attracted thousands of young people, and was later expanded into Sweden, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1937
    Age 25
    In 1937, Schaeffer transferred to Faith Theological Seminary, graduating in 1938.
    More Details Hide Details This seminary was newly formed as a result of a split between the Presbyterian Church of America (now the Orthodox Presbyterian Church) and the Bible Presbyterian Church, a Presbyterian denomination more identified with Fundamentalist Christianity and premillennialism. Schaeffer was the first student to graduate and the first to be ordained in the Bible Presbyterian Church. He served pastorates in Pennsylvania (Grove City and Chester) and St. Louis, Missouri.
  • 1935
    Age 23
    In 1935, Schaeffer graduated magna cum laude from Hampden–Sydney College.
    More Details Hide Details The same year he married Edith Seville, the daughter of missionary parents who had been with the China Inland Mission founded by Hudson Taylor. Schaeffer then enrolled at Westminster Theological Seminary in the fall and studied under Cornelius Van Til (presuppositional apologetics) and J. Gresham Machen (doctrine of inerrancy).
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1912
    Age 0
    Schaeffer was born on January 30, 1912, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, to Franz A. Schaeffer III and Bessie Williamson.
    More Details Hide Details He was of German and English ancestry.
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