Archive for the ‘Francis Schaeffer’ Category

Sye doppelganger


Something light-hearted.

I was watching a clip of Sye in action with Presuppositional apologetics and evangelism and I couldn’t help but to think he resembled someone.

Then it struck me: He looks like Francis Schaeffer.

Agree or Disagree?

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Bad foundation

Here are the round up of notable Presuppositional apologetics links around June 8th-14th 2013.  What other links do you think we might have added?



3.) Book review for Mike Robinson’s Islamic critque

4.) What Does It Mean That Christ and Scripture Are Self-Attesting?

5.) Do science and Scripture conflict?

6.) Cornelius Van Til’s Childhood

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Schaeffer on the Christian Life

Over the years there have been various books written on Francis Schaeffer, ranging from books reflecting on his life, discussion of his legacy to the critical evaluation of his apologetics. So why read another book on Francis Schaeffer, and particularly this book? What makes this work stand out among other books? What is unique about this book, is the author’s focus on the spiritual life of Francis Schaeffer, something the author argues was Schaeffer’s “most significant raison d’ete” that could be more thoroughly examined (Page 13). This work is not just a simple chronological presentation of historical facts from Schaeffer’s life; though Part one discusses the necessary biographical information of “the man and his times.” Rather the meat of the book is divided into two parts: (1) True Spirituality and (2) Trusting God for all of life. I enjoyed how the book captures Schaeffer’s spiritual life of embracing Biblical doctrines and a Spirit filled life. Schaeffer was a man who didn’t compromise with the fundamentals of the faith while at the same time he was able to truly love those who were lost and desiring their salvation. I’m particularly grateful for the author’s anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book of his personal knowledge of Francis Schaeffer and his family. Francis Schaeffer was used by the Lord to bring the author, William Edgar, to salvation when he was a young Harvard college student. Edgar is currently a professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, a testimony of the spiritual impact that Francis Schaeffer has made upon the author. Schaeffer did not always have everything accurate when it came to the details of philosophy and Edgar acknowledges this in his book. What I appreciated about this work is that Edgar was able to admit to Schaeffer’s imperfection without tarnishing the man or being nit-picky. In fact, I thought this further advanced the author’s thesis that Schaeffer’s spiritual life played a greater influence in his ministry than just philosophy or apologetics in of itself. As the author recounts: while not everyone necessarily came to faith after visiting Schaeffer’s L’Abri, no one doubts that Francis Schaeffer is a loving worldview evangelist with a pastoral heart. And in an age where doubt is encouraged as a virtue, that’s very telling. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Readers who are familiar with Cornelius Van Til and Hans Rookmaaker will also get a treat from Edgar’s perspective in his comparison and contrast of these men, and Schaeffer’s relationship to these men.

You can order the book on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Thank you Angie Cheatham at Crossway for proving me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

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sawing self refuting

These are some of the highlights of Presuppositional apologetics links around the web from April 21st-30th 2013.

1.) The Bible or the Qur’an (in light of Van Til’s apologetics) part I by Mike Robinson.

2.) Turretin Fan Review: How to Answer the Fool.

3.) The issue of infinite regress.

4.) Calvinism and the “Leviticus Principle” by Paul Manata.  It’s good to see Paul Manata “back” even as a guest post.

5.) Interactive: The Life & Works Of Francis & Edith Schaeffer Timeline

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Here are some links that those who are interested in Presuppositional apologetics would like to check out from the end of March 2013.  Lots of notable links this time.  And lots of focus on Francis Schaeffer!

1.) Evolution and the Soul–Ben Holloway’s thought on Evolution and the Soul.

2.) PRESUPPOSING: A REVIEW– This is a review of a book titled Presupposing: How to Defend the Faith – The Methods of Francis A. Schaeffer & Cornelius Van Til.  There seems to be ongoing debate of whether to understand Schaeffer as Van Tillian or not, this particular book examines Schaeffer in light of Van Til’s thought at the time when he taught Schaeffer at WTS according to the class syllabus.  Interesting approach.

3.) Bringing Schaeffer and Van Til Together--Camden Bucey quotes a famous account in an article for WTJ of Van Til lecturing Schaeffer and Schaeffer wishing he recorded it.

4.) It Is There and It Should Not Be Silent: Van Til’s Critique of Schaeffer–Essay on Van Til’s little known written critique of Francis Schaeffer.

5.) Francis Schaeffer’s Christian Spirituality– A Reformed Forum interview with William Edgar on his new book, Schaeffer on the Christian Life: Countercultural Spirituality.

6.) A Review of Schaeffer on the Christian Life by William EdgarAudio recording of a review by Camden Bucey and Jim Cassidy.

7.) Trailer for a documentary coming out in May!

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This is one of the books I recommended for this year’s Christian worldview and apologetics presents suggestion.


This is a good introduction to a Christian view on art. They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover and for this work I would also add that neither should you judge a book by it’s size–the book turned out to be better than I expected. Francis Schaeffer delivers in this work that’s really two chapters/essay that lays the foundation for the development of a Christian view of art. In the first chapter, Schaeffer attempts to establish Biblically that art is a godly pursuit. He begins his case with the Lordship of Christ, in which Christ and God is in charge of every area of the Christian life including their creative pursuits. Acknowledging that some Christians invoke the Ten commandments of not having graven images as an objection towards art, Schaeffer has a beautiful and powerful presentation of the Biblical data that this cannot be what the prohibition means since the Bible has arts. Schaeffer surveys the Tabernacle, the Temple and Solomon’s temple for evidence that God approves of art and even biblically backs up a case for poetry, dance and drama. In chapter two, Schaeffer goes over ten principles concerning the direction of how Christians ought to pursue their venture with art and how to evaluate art. I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated his four criteria of evaluating art: 1.) Technical abilities (artistic skills), 2.) validity (Schaeffer meant whether they are attempting to really show what the artist believed, or whether they have become mercenaries in their art), 3.) their worldview intellectual content and 4.) message’s relationship to the artistic vehicle. Delineating these four criteria proves to be helpful and can help us as Christians become more nuance when we say what we mean when we dislike a work of art and/or why we like it though not everything is good about it. Excellent work, I thoroughly recommend it.

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Francis Schaeffer has made a tremendous impact in Christianity, and whose disciples are still making their impact today.  Among his classics is the book and the video series, “How then Shall We Live?”  While I would add the caveat that sometimes Schaeffer broad brush things, in general I think this work does point us to the right direction in terms of biblically critiquing cultures and history.  While not as thoroughly Van Tillian as other students of the great apologist Cornelius Van Til, readers will note some Presuppositional streaks to his apologetics.

Here are the videos of the ten part series “How then Shall We Live?”  Though it’s ten parts, divided into 16 You Tube clips in this play list.  Enjoy!

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Usually, when I read a commentary for devotional purposes, I read the passage from the Bible first then I consult a commentary with an eye for additional insight or observation and point of application I might have missed. I usually weigh commentaries in that regard with what it brings out from the text. Schaffer brought out insights to things that I missed not only upon my first reading of the passage, but my previous reading of Joshua also as well. To that end, I thought this work was helpful. For instance, I did not noticed before that the memorial of the stones that Jacob commanded Israel to lay was on the Jordan itself from rocks that were on land and also rocks from the Jordan unto dry land in Joshua 4. This seemingly trivial point is explained by Schaeffer as being significant since the stones from the river (assuming it looks different) will stand out on dry land and vice versa as a memorial of God’s faithfulness when God once again parting water for Israel. Francis Schaeffer also had a good section on the Abrahamic covenant of God as the background to what was going on in Joshua in terms of receiving the promise land. It’s always beautiful seeing the flow of biblical theology being taken into account in interpreting a passage. The book also had a theologically rich chapter that focused on Joshua 8:30-35 on what Mount Ebal and Gerizim meant, where Schaeffer was able to use it to point to the gospel with the altar on Mount Ebal (the mountain of curses and judgment), of how this symbolizes that there is a need for the cleansing of sins. This commentary also answered a question I had for a while but neglected in finding the answer to. I’ve known before that the 12 tribes of Israel included two sons of Joseph which made me wonder how is it that there are 12 tribes instead of 13 if the tribes are from Jacob’s 12 sons. The math never added up to me until Schaeffer’s note from Genesis 49 that there is a prophecy that Simeon was to be without their own land. Over all, for a devotional flavor commentary, this work had good use of antecedent theology in interpreting the text, with Schaeffer using the Laws of Moses to make sense of what was going on in Joshua. Examples have already been cited above but added to this is the chapter on the city of Refuge, which must be understood in light of the directions and technicalities of Deuteronomy 4:41-43, Deuteronomy 19:1-13, Numbers 35:4-5 and 34:15-30. I also enjoyed the fact that Francis Schaeffer points out that when we look at the Bible, events took place in “time and space,” that is, in history. The ramification of that is huge: history is going somewhere. It is objectively meaningful. Of all people, Christians should be interested in the study of history since we know of God’s plan, promises and providence.

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It’s Francis Schaeffer’s 100 years anniversary!

His apologetics works has shaped much of Evangelical life and worldview.

You can have a chance (for a limited time, how long I don’t know) to win a complete set of his work by clicking here.

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Covenant Theological Seminary has for free Seminary lectures on the early years of Francis Schaeffer by Jerram Barrs, which is available by clicking HERE.

This is the course description on their website:

Course Description

Identification of the biblical emphasis in the thought and life of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, with a focus on the development of their early ministry in the United States and Europe and the founding of L’Abri. The course considers issues related to spiritual growth, the Christian family, the unity of the church, Christians and the arts, and various aspects of Christian ministry.

The same lecture series is also available on ITUNES!

After hearing the whole lecture, I thought the series was pretty good.  The professor personally knew the Schaeffers, and he brought out interesting insight from time to time.  Those stories are gold.  The early years of Francis Schaeffer, and that of his family are important background to understanding the development of Schaeffer’s thought and attitude.  Interesting is the discussion of the Evangelical and Fundamentalist distinction that play much in understanding Schaeffer’s life’s theme of “Truth and LOVE.”  The lectures are also heavily dependent upon the book, THE TAPESTRY, by the wife Edith Schaeffer who wrote about their family’s journey.  Definitely worth listening to, whether you are familiar with Schaeffer’s work, or you have heard about Francis Schaeffer but never read his work yet (which will be a good introduction).

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There is something not right in the head with Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer who has left his Evangelical faith.

He may no longer be crazy for God (a title of one of his book), but that does not mean Franky is no longer crazy (see the backlog of Veritas Domain’s entry on Franky by clicking HERE.).

In an interview on MSNBC on July 6th, 2011, Franky makes the accusation that the Tea Party movement is racist.  I quote,

Barack Obama is going to be reelected and reelected with a big margin, because I think that people understand, a lot of ordinary Americans who aren’t on the religious right understand something and that is as the first African-American president, he has been up against a racist white bloc in the Republican Party that has come dressed as the Tea Party,  the religious right, all sorts of excuses.

Franky’s argument seems to be propelled by more heat than light–more fallacies such as ad hominem attacks seen above, than actual content of substance.

Besides the ad hominem fallacy Franky commits, I also thought it is rather ironic that he can call the Tea Party racists in light of recent news with the presidential campaign.  If picture are worth a thousand words, Henry Payne’s cartoon communicates ten thousand more words concerning Frank Schaeffer’s outlandish assertion and slanderous lies.


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Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer has pretty much turn against his father’s legacy (theology and worldview) and made a name for himself base upon bashing his father.

I don’t know about you, but when I hit his age, I don’t want to be known by the world as a man who hates his father and can’t make any contribution to society without trying to be a parasite of the very father you hate.  That’s just sad–whether it’s a rebelling teenager and even more so for a grown man that’s a grandpa.

The subject of Frank Schaeffer’s irrational attack against Evangelical Christianity and worldview is not a new topic on Veritas Domain.  He often engages in the sloppy fallacy of guilt by association in his argumentation, in the most unsophisticated and angry form.  For instance,  back in April 1st, 2010 Frak wrote a piece in his column for Huffington Post titled, “The Evangelical Mainstream Insanity Behind the End Times Michigan Militia” in which he tied a militia that wants to kill cops back to his dad and himself back in his Evangelical days.  No surprise there if you have followed Frank for any time, everything bad supposedly comes from Franky and his father.  It’s as if Franky would want you to believe that the root of all evil is his father.  Frank writes,

A federal prosecutor in Michigan says authorities decided to arrest members of the Hutaree Christian militia after learning “they were prepared to kill.”

When I first learned of the news I went to the Hutaree Militia homepage and was struck by the fact that their site included links to a number of evangelical “End Times” sites like that of the Jack Van Impe ministries.

In the 1970s and 80s I appeared several times with Jack Van Impe on his TV program. His act was to predict the “imminent” return of Jesus. My act was to raise money for my latest far religious right effort to make abortion illegal.

As the son of well known evangelicals and far right leader Francis Schaeffer I was in the middle of the chain of events that led to the arrests of men prepared to kill cops for Jesus. The rhetoric we in the early pro-life movement unleashed combined, with the apocalyptic fantasies of the fundamentalist evangelicals, is a deadly brew.

From the above quote, readers will see that Frank believes his father and him were in the chain of events behind this dangerous militia, along with some quarters of the Pop Dispensationalist’s Evangelicals.

Frank also see these Pop Dispensationalist contribute to the birth of the Tea Party, something Schaeffer totally despises:

Knowingly or unknowingly, Jenkins and LaHaye cashed in on years of evangelical/fundamentalists’ imagined victim-hood –something that is now key to understanding the Tea Party movement.

Frank’s conclusion to his piece then makes the comparison of the Michigan militia to the Tea Party, with the assertion that the Tea Party movement shares in this violent ideology (and suggestion that they are morally culpable for it):

The truth is that the “crazies” in Michigan are just acting on what millions of evangelicals say they believe and I don’t only mean about the so called End Times. I also mean that these days the Tea Party movement is spouting a rhetoric of doom and extremism that holds that the American government and even the nation is no longer legitimate. Add in the theology and you have a self-fulfilling “prophecy” of Armageddon. Sadly we have not seen the last of such actions.

Of course, Frank’s argument runs totally on the bandwagoning fallacy, from bandwagoning his father to the Militia, Pop Dispensationalists to his dad, the Militia to the Pop Dispensationalists, the Pop Dispensationalist to the Tea Party and finally the Tea Party to the Militia, and since a subset of these (the militia) has planned to carry out violence therefore all these are dangerous and ought to be rejected because of their “similarities.”


It might not be easy for Franky to see the fallacies because of his passionate emotion, so I thought it best be illustrated by applying his own standard back to himself with his current views.  Enter in the Occupy Movement.

This movement has been plagued with violence and all sorts of problem, whether it’s at Wall Street, Washington DC, San Francisco or Portland.

Some have been so consume by their ideology, they will even push an old lady down:

And block handicaps from getting out:

Some have attacked officers by stabbing them,  been arrested for carrying explosives, rape in Philadelphia, sexual assaults elsewhere, interfering with other’s freedom of assembly, hurting businesses, comitting crimes such as vandalism, tresspassing,  theft, pooping everywhere, urinating everywhere, etc.

Is Huffington Post responsible for all of this, since to borrow Schaeffer’s reasoning (but with different referents plugged in):

Knowingly or unknowingly, Huffington Post cashed in on years of Progressive and Liberal imagined victim-hood –something that is now key to understanding the Occupy movement.

And since Franky has been with Huffington Post for years, blogging for them, writing against the 1% and others who are rich, Republican or religious in blogs, books and articles, can we say that the Occupy Wall Street is acting out what he believes?

Frank might say that all these bad things about Occupy Wall Street has been done by a few fringe trying to hijack the movement, whether Marxists, anarchists or plain old bad people.  But if he reason that way making this fine distinction, can he do the same when it comes those on the more conservative spectrum as well?

As much as Franky talk and talk about the Tea Party will be violent, Occupy Wall Street has BEEN much more criminal and violent.

Will Franky come out and condemn the Occupy Movement and expose it’s danger?  And more importantly, will he own up to his hypocrisy?

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Over at “The Continuing Story”, a blog which features the primary sources on Presbyterianism, they have recently concluded a series in which they posted up the interaction between Oliver Buswell, Francis Schaeffer and Cornelius Van Til concerning Presuppositional Apologetics, as taught by Van Til.

This is a great archive series for those who are interested in the historical side of Presuppositional Apologetics!

1. Buswell, J. Oliver, Jr., “The Arguments from Nature to God: Presuppositionalism and Thomas Aquinas—A Book Review with Excursions,” The Bible Today 41.8 (May 1948): 235-248.
2. Schaeffer, Francis A., “A Review of a Review,” The Bible Today 42.1 (October 1948): 7-9.
3. Buswell, J. Oliver, Jr., “The Fountainhead of Presuppositionalism,” The Bible Today 42.2 (November 1948): 41-64.
4. Young, G. Douglas, “Dr. Young’s Letter”, The Bible Today 42.2 (November 1948): 65.
5. Buswell, J. Oliver, Jr., “Warfield vs. Presuppositionalism,” The Bible Today 42.6 (March 1949): 182-192.
6. Van Til, Cornelius, “Presuppositionalism,” The Bible Today 42.7 (April 1949): 218-228.
7. Anonymous, “Presuppositionalism,” The Bible Today 42.8 (May 1949): 261.
8. Van Til, Cornelius, “Presuppositionalism Concluded,” The Bible Today 42.9 (June-September 1949): 278-290.

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This is a book I can give a hearty recommendation for!

While Bahnsen’s “Always Ready” has been read widely than perhaps any of his other works, I think this current volume by Bahnsen is much more superior to “Always Ready” and recommended as the first work to read as an introduction to Bahnsen’s work.  The book was “lost” for several decades, originally written by the author as a chapter to another book.  The project became big enough to be a separate volume!  It is incredible to think that he wrote this as a young man in his mid-twenties.  I have met people who have thought “Always Ready” was too repetitive and disjointed, and while I myself have not found that to be true, it is certainly understandable since it was put together after his death from a collection of Bahnsen’s writing.  The work heavily emphasizes the theme of God’s self-attesting Word more than “Always Ready” did, and I think rightly so.  I think this theme of God’s self-attestation needs to be foundational to Presuppositional Apologetics, lest the rest of the endeavor not make sense.  In light of some debate on the internet concerning the Transcendental Argument, I think any revisit of Bahnsen’s formulation should consider the role of the self-attestation of God’s truth in Bahnsen’s understanding of Presuppositionalim.  One the unique aspect of this book is not only it’s positive statement of Presuppositionalism, but also it’s critique of other “Presuppositionalism.”  In particular, he critiques Gordon Clark, and this is the most lengthy critique I’ve seen in print from a Van Tillian vantage point.  I think it is the best work done by a Van Tillian in this regard.  Also interesting read is his critique of Francis Schaeffer.  With each individuals, he considers their strengths and citation which shows where they agree with Van Til.  Then he proceeds to go over significant disagreement.  Excellent work, highly recommended.

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Gary DeMar of American Vision has this video up on Youtube concerning Frank Schaeffer

On this blog I have posted in the past concerning Frank Schaeffer, including useful links and my writing concerning the reasoning behind his angry rhetoric here and here

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