Summary of “DEATH IN THE CITY” by Francis Schaeffer

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In his book Death in the City, Schaeffer accentuates six sobering observations.  First, the reason for why there’s death in the city is that we have turned away from our Reformation roots.  God has been discarded by not only our culture but also by many professed Christians. The propositional force and nature of the Scriptures is what has been abandoned and what we must return to in order for life to spring forth in said desolation.

Second, just as the God who is there exists, it follows biblically that He is both holy and gracious in revealing to us His propositional truth.  To neglect Him and thus His self-disclosure (which we have) is to fall into judgment.  Jeremiah  wept for the church and the culture.  We must also.  His message was one of truth and grace.  When said truth is trampled, judgment follows.  Nothing has changed.  To speak prophetically to our culture it will require us to preach the two sides of the same coin with humility and love.  That’s a tall task and one which God enables us to accomplish.

Hence, there must be a dual weeping, a knowing that preaching judgment is hard but indispensable.  For where false religion, adultery, extortion, lying, and the oppression of the poor by the powerful exist, there’s judgment.  We must call sin, sin; beware of our affluence and its trappings, and put our hope not in man’s power but God’s strength ultimately.  If we preach this way coupled with humility and love, then the world might start taking us seriously.  We’re truly in Jeremiah’s days.

Third, are we perturbed that the message of judgment is ever lingering before men but do we love God and people in such a way that we cry out with the truth compassionately?  Jeremiah did and his message of judgment on both great and small brought a price on his head.  The people wanted him dead.  Nothing’s changed, people want us dead as well.  Disdain for God’s word is ever real, nothing new and always our doom.  God help us in our weakness.

Fourth, in light of the aforesaid, persistent compassion is vital and yet costly.  Jeremiah illustrates the physical and psychological price that will be paid by those who follow in his footsteps.  Like Jeremiah we must:  a) preach the truth of judgment, b) recognize that our country is already under God’s judgment, c) practice the truth, d) know it will be costly, e) persevere doing the above regardless of the price.  When historically the church fails to do the above, defection is followed by destruction.

Fifth, the man without the Bible will be judged according to his own standards which he has broken.  The man with the Bible will be judged according to the light of Scripture which he has broken.  The fact is that all are under judgment.  But in Christ, God’s rescue is available and can be realized by the compassionate clear preaching of the Gospel.  We are debtors to the lost and often we don’t feel this.  God help us here.

Lastly, we must live as Christians before the lost.  This includes a life of dependent prayer to the God of Creation who is there.  He will hear the cry of our hearts and respond to believing supplication.  And when He is silent, we must continue to trust the Faithful One who is amazing.

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Summary of “THE MARK OF THE CHRISTIAN” by Francis Schaeffer

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In his book The Mark of the Christian Schaeffer points out the great Commandment to love God and neighbor is at the core of our message and it must be lived out if two things are to occur.  First, if men are to know that we are Christ’s disciples, there must be the humble preference toward one another that Jesus demonstrated to the disciples when he washed their feet in (John 13).  Love among the brothers lets the watching world see if we actually belong to Jesus or not.

We may very well be his, but if our actions are contradictory then the unbeliever has the right given by God to judge us.  This kind of life is costly, painful and accompanied by great loss, but our love for the Savior and for the lost must be what motivates us.

Second, we must be unified with believers so that our evangelistic endeavors are not hindered and the world may know that the Father sent the Son (John 17).  This unity must be evident in word and in deed.  Even when there are differences among us, and there will be, it’s critical that forgiveness, repentance, humility and kindness be evident when we part ways with our brothers and sisters.

This unity, according to Schaeffer, is not organizational, nor our mystical union with Him, it’s not our positional unity in Christ, not even a legal unity before Him.  But it’s a real, observable, practical unity that practices both God’s holiness and love.  Schaeffer rightly accentuates that this unity is never to be separated from His propositional truth (scripture) for it is these propositions that believers are called to live out before the world.

Summary of “The Church at the End of the 20th Century” by Francis Schaeffer

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In his book The Church at the End of the 20th Century, Schaeffer considers where in history we have come.  He considers how to understand the then current student revolt of the 60’s and how we as the church can make an impact.  As he argued in; The God Who is There, the results that accompany denying God’s existence in space time history are inescapable.  If there’s no ultimate reference point of God, we have no absolute truth, what then follows is man, not God becoming the measure of all things, and as such sends us down a slippery oblivion of utter despair.

The core of the book concerns the absolute need to make the essential things of the Christian faith essential, and those that are not, not essential while still being important.  It’s an issue of degreed importance.  Hence, orthodoxy is essential to have true Christianity for God has communicated to us in propositional form.  But that’s not everything.  We must have orthodoxy in community.  If it does not work itself out practically in our relationships through love, we will be seen as ugly.  As we should be!  Overcoming the hurdles required to walk in loving community can only be done through the Holy Spirit’s power poured in and through humble servants.

In other words, we need to teach the Christianity that has content and purity of doctrine.  And in our ecclesiastical affairs we must practice that truth in our religious cooperation if both young and old are going to be attracted to us.  Where changes need to be made (e.g., Korean church going underground or the times we meet for worship, or where we meet) must be considered graciously rather than given some “divine authority” which the Scriptures do not support.  Cultural relevance necessitates a “hot orthodoxy” that is savvy, not belligerent.

Summary of “Two Contents, Two Realities” by Francis Schaeffer

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In Schaeffer’s Two Contents, Two Realities he holds to the view that for the church to encounter the mounting challenges of the culture and increasing pressures upon her four things are essential to be in place.  Without these, he doesn’t see how we can be truly light and salt.

First, we must have the content of sound doctrine.  There can’t be any compromise here, for where essential Christian doctrines are denied, true Christianity disappears.  And clarity of content to those making a profession of faith is indispensable.  Otherwise, what will result are many false conversions.  Moreover, relativism must be smashed with true truth, the cost of discipleship must be real and love must ground all the above.

Second, we must with content give honest answers to honest questionsBecause Christianity is true truth from God, the Scriptures have an answer to our deepest fundamental questions as human beings.  For Christ is Lord over all creation, and as its master, He has the solutions for our deepest concerns.  This will mean that Christians like Paul must love the culture enough to understand its functional gods/idols and show their inadequacy when compared to the Gospel.  Whether rich or poor, educated or working class the same questions concern us all.

Third, the reality of true spirituality demonstrates what it means to love God and neighbor as ourselves, however imperfectly.  We may have orthodox doctrine and know how to provide the answers our generation is asking or not asking, but if among believers there’s no true (though imperfect) love, than we have utterly failed!  The way we treat others is a massive indication of our understanding of what it means for them to be image bearers.  Without minimizing the first and second contents, if this third reality is not in place, the gig is up.

Fourth, the beauty of human relationships in Christian community is costly and smashes every racial and class barrier.  The rich and poor, rulers and servants are to understand that they are brothers and sisters in Christ. The church cannot just be a place where preaching and activities occur, where no community is really being experienced.  In the church of Antioch, the race issue was not an issue for the early Christians and while they had their problems the Gospel was able to destroy these barriers in a way that in America it hasn’t been a reality in too many of our churches.  If we are going to touch our generation with the Gospel, this must be remedied by Christ’s power in our lives.

It is when we begin to see these two contents, and two realities that a profound impact will be experienced by our generation.

Summary of “THE NEW SPIRITUALITY” by Francis Schaeffer

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In Schaeffer’s The New Super Spirituality he considers how among non-Christians and in the church we came full circle as a culture in America with our problems without even realizing it.  A generation that found itself in a post Christian world became that which it despised, that which it rejected.  For example, in the sixties the youth rebelled against their parents’ love of affluence and peace and saw their “plastic reality” to provide no real answers to life’s difficult questions.

Instead of reasoning through hard issues, the youth were encouraged to just maintain the status quo.  This anti-intellectualism the youth ironically accepted through the transcendental mysticism of Eastern thought in the sixties which down-played reality as we know it—drug culture sprang up, and thus a denial of reason flourished.  The source of these ideas was a mixture of mysticism, the occult, and some demonic.  It’s easy to become that which you criticize if care is not taken.

In the Christian community, of the many problems that obtained were not understanding what it means for Christ to be Lord over all creation.  Instead of giving answers to tough questions, the youth were told to just believe…they turned away.  There was also no beauty in the community; divorce became rampant, families torn apart—in church—because of an anti-intellectual approach to their orthodoxy.  Moreover, strong legalism set in and many taboos were put in place of Scripture.  This lead to an unbiblical Platonic world-view that denied the importance of the physical world and only spiritual themes mattered.  And while in the new Pentecostalism that unlike their predecessors, experience trumped content, however important experience is.

There are certain marks in the new super spirituality; 1) an unbiblical exegesis of the use of reason and the intellect from 1 Corinthians 1, 2 as if God upheld stupidity as a virtue, 2) a disdain for apologetics thinking it to be “non-spiritual”, 3) the despising of the body and embracing asceticism for its own sake, 4) certain questions are altogether not being asked, thus showing where people’s interest consist, 5) a longing to experience the spectacular and the extraordinary, and 6) an eschatology-centered theology.  How are we to respond to these trends?

Schaeffer says, first it’s important to remember that these people are our Christian brothers and that how we deal with each other determines whether or not the world can know we belong to Christ (Jn.17).

Second, in light of the new Platonism, we must be saturated with the content based propositional revelation of truth in the Scriptures and we must place our freedoms under the lordship of the Holy Spirit.

Third, we must resist the new super-spirituality, and while difficult, steer aright new converts to worship in churches that are orthodox in both doctrine and in their community.

Fourth, we must not overreact when confronting these problems—this is so critical and difficult to do.  It’s truly difficult to strike a balance.  If we are to live in the reality that Christ is Lord over all creation, then as Christians it is incumbent on us to love God in word and deed, prayerfully study our Bible, love the Church and the Culture, care for both Body and Soul, and in all this avoiding extremes and making it our goal to live Scripturally saturated lives.

YOU CAN’T TRUST THE BIBLE…PERIOD! SAYS WHO?

The chatter seems endless.  Everyone has a view of ultimate reality.  Whose words fuel the reason you live?  During his temptation, Jesus said, “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

What does that mean?  Why should we care?  And what happens when his words are ignored? These questions and more will be considered in the seminar sponsored by Sovereign Grace Fellowship: Trusting God’s Word: Reclaiming our Confidence in the Truth of Scripture

TOPICS

  • Who do You Ultimately Take Your Orders From? – Scripture’s Authority (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • What do You Ultimately Bank On? – Scripture’s Inerrancy (Psalm 12:6)
  • How Are Your Ultimate Needs Met? – Scripture’s Necessity (1 Peter 1:23)
  • Where do You Go for Ultimate Answers? – Scripture’s Sufficiency (Matthew 4:4)

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS SEMINAR?

 Truly anyone attending will benefit from the topics covered; Parents wanting to faithfully raise their children according to God’s commands; Pastors and Leaders desiring to strengthen those under their care; students longing to be emboldened in their witness for Christ; Followers of Jesus determined to live humbly under God’s truth; and the Skeptic whose questions have not been satisfactorily answered.

SPEAKER INFO follow link:

Seating is limited so SIGN-UP TODAY!

 

YOU CANT TRUST THE BIBLE! SAYS WHO?

 

The chatter seems endless.  Everyone has a view of ultimate reality.  Whose words fuel the reason you live?  During his temptation, Jesus said, “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

What does that mean?  Why should we care?  And what happens when his words are ignored? These questions and more will be considered in the seminar sponsored by Sovereign Grace Fellowship: Trusting God’s Word: Reclaiming our Confidence in the Truth of Scripture

TOPICS

  • Who do You Ultimately Take Your Orders From? – Scripture’s Authority (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • What do You Ultimately Bank On? – Scripture’s Inerrancy (Psalm 12:6)
  • How Are Your Ultimate Needs Met? – Scripture’s Necessity (1 Peter 1:23)
  • Where do You Go for Ultimate Answers?Scripture’s Sufficiency (Matthew 4:4)

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS SEMINAR?

 Truly anyone attending will benefit from the topics covered; Parents wanting to faithfully raise their children according to God’s commands; Pastors and Leaders desiring to strengthen those under their care; students longing to be emboldened in their witness for Christ; Followers of Jesus determined to live humbly under God’s truth; and the Skeptic whose questions have not been satisfactorily answered.

SPEAKER INFO follow link:

Seating is limited so SIGN-UP TODAY!

 

Summary of “No Final Conflict” Francis Schaeffer

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In No Final Conflict, Schaeffer among other things argues for the primacy of the Bible as God’s final self-disclosure to man which is both transcultural, and trans-time.  While special revelation (i.e., the Bible) shows us God’s redemptive plan, general revelation (i.e., the Creation) displays the other aspect of His glory.  When theologians and scientists relegate the Bible to the mere subjective, relativistic corner, it is held that only science can give us knowledge.  However, the Scripture’s self-affirmations don’t give us this capital.

Where the Bible touches on History and the Cosmos it gives us true knowledge, if not, then Evangelicalism is a sham, grounded merely on a weak view of Scripture.  If Scripture is not faithfully applied to the raging culture war, he quotes Martin Luther:

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the Devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.  Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” [pg.122]

 Scripture is the biggest issue today.  This is the biggest issue is both the nature and reliability of Scripture and depending on our view, it will determine whether or not we are truly Evangelical. 

Schaeffer further argues for the Bible’s historicity through the unity of Genesis in its genealogical statements, the nature of Scripture, the limits of our knowledge of both Special and General Revelation and the need to humbly ascertain the two.  At the end of the day, if Evangelicals acquiesce to a weak view of Scripture (i.e., it’s a myth, not a reliable source of historical knowledge) then God will in the end not have spoken.  Only man will have spoken through his culturally conditioned era.

If this weak view of Scripture is received and practiced, the difficulties that lie ahead will wipe out many professing believers, AND the lost will not be found.  Instead they will dance into eternity without the redemptive knowledge of God, but only into His wrathful presence.

We need Holy hot orthodox boldness so that we may winsomely love our neighbor and lay down our lives for them.  Gone are the days where we can leave said decision for tomorrow, the time to act is now, the time to truthfully love as God commands is also now.  What will the Master say to us when on that day our faces meet?  Well done good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your master, or, depart from me I never knew you, you workers of iniquity.

Summary of  “Back to Freedom and Dignity” Francis Schaeffer

 

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Back to Freedom and Dignity is Francis Schaeffer’s fourth book in the first volume “A Christian View of Philosophy and Culture.”  In this book, Schaeffer considers the natural outcome of a culture run by a physicalist world-view (i.e., matter is all there is, immaterial realities do not exist).  The end result is that man is just a machine, without an enduring “I” at the mercy of the “mighty” “elite” “those in the know” (i.e., scientists).

The “freedom and dignity” afforded to man ends up being no less than a lab rat to discover what can be “improved upon.”  Skinner, Crick, and Company must be taken seriously, because their ideas are so lethal to man’s “mannish-ness” (i.e., the inescapable characteristics of humanity that evidence being created in God’s image rather than being a purposeless accident).

Summary of “He Is There and He is Not Silent” FRANCIS SCHAEFFER

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 “He Is There and He is Not Silent” is Francis Schaeffer’s third book of the first volume “A Christian View of Philosophy and Culture.”  In it, he considers the three main areas of philosophy: Metaphysics, Ethics, and Epistemology.  Schaeffer uses the pre-suppositional method as a means to consider how Being, Oughtness, and Knowing make the most sense from that which is Impersonal or from the Personal. 

He skillfully argues for the Personal over against the Impersonal as the most rational option.  This conclusion is based on what he terms as the “mannish-ness” of man (i.e., because human beings are created in God’s image, they always mirror this reality in the way they think and live).  The world is such that in these 3 categories (metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics), God is there and He is not silent.  God has spoken and as such He is the “Hub” of Being, of Ought-ness, and of Knowing, not the creature.

Hence, to deny God as the Absolute, Personal, Uncreated, Infinite Creator is to embrace madness.  This is seen in the philosophical systems that aren’t Judeo-Christian.  Man is an image bearer.  To look into the mirror and not know and live in that reality is tragic indeed!