Contend Earnestly: Escape from Reason

Friday, November 21, 2008

Escape from Reason

Francis Schaeffer admits that this small book overlaps much of his book titled The God Who is There. What Schaeffer does in this small treatise is give a glimpse on the impact that Thomas Aquinas had on the thinking about nature and grace. Meaning that before Aquinas much of what was thought about God and the heavenlies were never pictured in any way besides mere symbols. For instance, before Aquinas, Mary and Jesus were never portrayed as real bodies with a physical element, but were only allowed to be pictured using symbols. As well as this, nature held no interest to the artist and were never pictured at all in art in any way. This came from the fact that before Aquinas, to simply climb a mountain for the sake of climbing a mountain had never been done.

Out of this nature started to have more meaning for people, which if taken from a biblical perspective can be good in so far we speak of stewardship, but what we find is that from this time on, nature took on more of a role than Aquinas would have thought.

In the Escape from Reason Schaeffer shows how from the start of Aquinas and the Renaissance nature started to depart from the Scriptural understanding of its place among men. So, art, poetry, theatre, etc. took from this and lead us down the road of being completely autonomous from God, where nature ended up "eating up grace" so that it was completely free from the God who created it and us.

Schaeffer goes to show the history of this thought and then gives the better understanding through the Reformation and the Scriptures. Namely, that the only way that man can be the most free is within the "constraints" of the knowledge given by the personal, communicable triune God of the Christian bible.

Even though much of this was overlapped from The God Who is There, this book was still very worth the read and gives greater understanding of how, from Aquinas on, nature and autonomy took a dangerous turn from the freedom found in God, and turned instead to an autonomy apart from Him. Highly Recommended. Link to Buy


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