Hodder Christian paperbacks.; L’Abri specials.
This 1974 booklet contains the title essay, as well as an Appendix, “Race and Economics.” The title essay, as well as the first essay in his booklet No Final Conflict, were Schaeffer’s presentation at the 1974 Lausanne Congress.
He begins the title essay with the statement, “There are four things which I think are absolutely necesary if we as Christians are to meet the need of our age and the overwhelming pressure we are increasingly facing. They are two contents and two realities.” He then explains, “The first content is clear doctrinal content concerning the central elements of Christianity… We must have the courage to make no compromise with liberal theology and especially neo-orthodox existential theology.” (Pg. 7-8)
He says, “The second content is that Christianity is truth, and we must give honest answers to honest questions… There is no dichotomy in the Bible between the intellectual and cultural on the one hand and the spiritual on the other… If Christianity is truth as the Bible claims, it must touch every aspect of life.” (Pg. 15)
He adds, “Many Christians think that 1 Corinthians speaks against the use of the intellect. But it does not. What [it] speaks against is a man’s pretending to be autonomous… without recourse to the revelation of the Word of God… Paul was against the early gnosticism, wherein a man could be saved merely on the basis of such knowledge. Paul did answer questions… wherever they arose.” (Pg. 16-17)
He then states, “The first reality is spiritual reality… we believe with all our hearts that Christian truth can be presented in propositions… [But] the end of Christianity is not the repetition of mere propositions… A dead, ugly orthodoxy with no real spiritual reality must be rejected as sub-Christian.” (Pg. 20) Then he says, “The second reality is the beauty of human relationships. True Christianity produces beauty as well as truth, especially in the specific areas of human relationships… We are to show something to the watching world on the basis of the human relationships we have with other men, not just other Christians.” (Pg. 23)
He concludes, “there must be two orthodoxies: the orthodoxy of doctrine and the orthodoxy of community. And both orthodoxies must be practised down into the warp and the woof of life where the lordship of the Lord Jesus touches every area of our life.” (Pg. 29)
In the Appendix, he advises, “Unhappily, at our moment of history… the tendency is to minimize the missions and the preaching of the Gospel and/or to move over to some degree to the left… The answer is… in calling for a compassionate use of wealth by all who have it and especially by the PRACTICE of a compassionate use of wealth wherever true Christians are… we must make the proper emphasis concerning these an integral part of our evangelicalism.” (Pg. 32)
This booklet covers themes that Schaeffer has written on before, of course, but its brevity may make it an attractive “introduction” for those who are hesitant to take on his longer and more complex works.
For further NOTES See also the BACK of the book!
|Author:||Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984)|