Monday, December 22, 2014

20 Quotes from "Schaeffer on the Christian Life," by William Edgar.

I got this idea from Tony Reinke at the desiring God blog, where he occasionally posts 20 quotes from a good book. I thought it would be a helpful way for me to share some of the interesting things that I've gleaned from my reading. I just finished this great book and I thought I'd share 20 quotes from it.

Note: If you see no quotation marks it is a direct quote from the book. If you see quotation marks it means it is a direct quote from Francis Schaeffer that William Edgar is quoting.

Fran stopped at nothing to defend the objective reality of a true religious experience over against mysticism and liberal theology. If you had been there at Calvary’s cross, he said, and had rubbed your hand against it, you would have gotten a splinter! 66

“Sanctification is a process, not an act, and yet there are often one or more crises along the way as a Christian gains new knowledge of the meaning and the work of Christ in his present life and as he begins to act on that knowledge.” 83

When the Bible is not considered inerrant, what gets lost is our ability to stand against the surrounding culture, which is ever changing and fallen. Indeed, the culture begins to judge the Bible, not the other way around. In this same article [mentioned in the book], and throughout his work, Schaefer reminds us that it is one thing to believe correctly about the Bibles authority, but it is another, and equally important, to live according to the Bible. 85

The “religious” truth of the Bible is of the same nature as the truth about every day life. If the Bible affirms the physical resurrection of Jesus, then his body will never be found where he was buried. Ultimately the Hebrew and biblical view grounds the truth in the character of God, who reveals himself in both the creation and special revelation. 85

The Bible gives us what we need to know in order to understand the central thrust, but it does not give all the details we could wish for. That would require an enormous library! Still, when it addresses science, the cosmos, and so on, it does speak truly. As he puts it: “Wherever it touches upon anything, it does so with the true truth, but not with exhaustive truth….Where it touches history, it speaks of what I call true truth – that is, propositional, objective truth.” 87

At the heart of Francis Schaeffer's views on sanctification lies a theme that was indeed central to almost everything in his life and work, the theme of reality…His use of the term reality, particularly when referring to the Christian life, is informal. He means to say that God is real; the presence of God can really be known in our experience. There is an objective basis for human experience. 92, 94

[The] Christian life is a restoration to what I am meant to be; as a Christian I become who I was intended to be as God’s image bearer. 105

Sin is more than a forensic matter because the truth against which send offends is more than an abstract truth. 116
Schaeffer adds that we are very deep persons, and like the proverbial iceberg, nine tenths of our moral life lies under the surface...While we cannot even [it should say “ever”] become perfectly free from known sins, the best we can do is appeal to God when we do know something because it has surfaced, and then ask him to dig down deeper and bring more things to the surface so we can also deal with that particular send; and so it goes. 118

Just as a parent comforts a child crying in bed at night with the thought that the good Lord is watching over him, we can say to ourselves, no need to fear, because our God really is there. 119

God is not like a dispensing machine, obligated to make a product available at the drop of the coin. 141

If there is no transition from original perfection to sinful corruption, then cruelty is just a part of our intrinsic human nature. And this, in turn, means that "God is the devil." But if the problem is moral, that is, if we humans have made a sinful choice, then there can be hope, because that situation can be reversed, and has been reversed, in the cross. Jesus, the man, who is also God, took the weight of sin upon himself and canceled the penalty. 143

“Don't be proud. As you look out across the world of sinners, wait for them. Be glad indeed if you are redeemed, but never forget as you look at others that you have been one of them, and in a real sense we are still one with them, for we still sin. Christians are not a special group of people who can be proud; Christians are those who are redeemed – and that is all!” 145

“[Unless] true Christians show observable love to each other, Christ says the world cannot be expected to listen, even when we give proper answers.” 151

There is no better observable love, Fran says, then “saying we are sorry.” 152

Even for the purposes of doing evangelism, it may have to be that Christians cannot always work together. The overall reason is that in an age of relativism we need the opportunity to exhibit truth and antithesis. 154

“I can visualize times when the only way to make plain the seriousness of what is involved in regard to a service or to an activity where the gospel is going to be preached is not to except an official part if men his doctrine is known to be an enemy are going to be invited to participate officially.” 154

If the church is a brotherhood of believers who know how to practice visible love, then what is the church to proclaim? Simply put, the church must preach the truth… What Schaffer and his followers tell us is that the truth has largely been abandoned in our times, even in the church, and we need to recover it. 155

Modern theology is parasitical on shifts in the general culture, including philosophy and the arts. 156

At any rate, Francis Schaeffer held passionately to the importance of preaching truth. The Word of God contains propositional truth, as he insisted over and over. Speaking the truth loud and clear is the most fundamental call of the church. 157