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ISBN/ASIN : 0891073086
Manufacturer : Crossway Books|
Release data : 01 February, 1984
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Holiness and Love
As has been mentioned The Great Evangelical Disaster was Francis Schaeffer's last book before his death. Though, the book is now over two decades old Schaeffer's thoughts are just as relevant today as they were in 1984.
Schaeffer rightly identifies biblical inerrancy as a 'watershed' issue for Evangelical christians. This is where the rubber meets the road. Unfortunately, today those who call themselves Evangelical often are not strong on or even deny inerrancy. Schaffer argues that those who hold to the inerrancy of scripture and those who don't ultimately end up with much different worldviews. He further points out that accomidation in this area leads to the same problems as an outright denial of inerrancy.
Schaeffer also argues that this is an issue which must ultimatley lead to some confrontation within the visible church or we deny the Holiness of God. But, he also correctly points out that this must been done in Love. The task of the church is to simultaneously practice the Holiness of God and the Love of God. If we only practice the Holiness we end up hard and unloving. If we only practice Love we will accomidate on any issue and in the end to not in fact practice the Love of God but a distorted concept of Love. Also, we cannot keep this balance in our own power but we must rely on the Holy Spirit.
This book is well worth the read. It is a challenge for us to stand for Truth in a world that denies truth and a reminder that we must stand in love with tears in our eyes- not in arrogant pride.
Finally, this printing also has as an appendix Schaeffer's earlier booklet The Mark of the Christian, which is also an excellent book...something every Christian should read.
Famous 20th Century theologian, Francis A. Schaeffer's last book before his death in 1984 is an examination of the accommodation of humanistic/secular ideas in the 'visible Church' which started with teh higher critical methods in the late 1800's, gained ground n the 1920's and 30's and led to a fruition in Western culture in 1960's and on.
There are many points in this book that are worthy for all Christians to heed. The book is very critical of liberal Chrsitian theology, but acknowledges where consrevative Chrsitians lost ground and the impending result of such mistakes by Evangelicals.
Schaeffer correctly points out the creeping compromise of relativism in the Christian community and shows this most profoundly in the idea of divorce. He writes about the consrevative schoalers of the 20's who produced the 'fundamentals', the social gospel, and the threat of secular/humanism and its devaluing of the sanicty of human life.
He offers words of wisdom as wellthat Chrsitian must remember and strive for, to uphold the 'purity of the visble church' but no matter what we must also, 'show forth the love of God'. There are so many good points here that asmall review cannot do this book justice. Then why the for stars, well, Schaeffer fails to see that part of the problem is that he, although he might not agree, holds to the Barthian notion of a visble Church, but in Protestantism, there is no visble Church. There are visble Christians, and the distinction is important because it often is the diffrence in the nethodology proposed. Otherwise an improtant work.
Modern Day Wake up Call
This was an excellent book showing the decline of the modern day church. Schaeffer shows that the church has lost its will to discern right from wrong. He does a terrific job critiquing what he calls the watershed of the Evangelical Faith. That is, the inerrancy of the Scriptures. Too many people are accepting people who call themselves "Evangelicals", but they are really are nothing but rank liberals.
This is a short pithy work, but it shows the sadness of the times we are in. I love the short history that Schaeffer gives. Since he was a Presbyterian, I love him talking about J. Gresham Machen (a brilliant defender of Orthodoxy). I also love him talking about how "Fundamentalism" got started. Most people see "Fundamentalism" as being anti-intellectual. But, historially speaking, "Fundamentalism" was actually an intellectual defense of Christian orthodoxy (it all started by a group of Christian scholars getting together defending historic Christian doctrine in book form, of which Machen was one of them).
This was a tremendous book for someone wanting to study how the Bible has been affected by liberalism and neo-orthodoxy. If it would have been a little more thorough, I would have rated it five stars.