Contend Earnestly: The God Who Is There

Monday, November 17, 2008

The God Who Is There

This is the first book of Schaeffer's that I have read, and I must say, I am pretty excited to continue to learn from this godly evangelist. In The God Who Is There, Schaeffer weaves in and out of so many philosophical systems and history that it is quite impossible to list it all in a book review. Schaeffer is definitely a classic presuppositional apologist. Meaning that he tries to get the listener or reader to get to the very reason they believe in the certain system that they believe in. He then points out their holes in their arguments and shows how Christianity is the better and most reasonable option there is in philosophical thought. Most of this argument comes from Romans 1:18 where it states,

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

If they suppress the truth, that means that the truth is definitely inside them, as they are made in the image of God, their Creator.

In The God Who Is There, Schaeffer shows how the modern man has woven himself through philosophy, art, music, theatre, movies, etc. After showing how this has been done throughout history, Schaeffer shows that the "leap of faith" does not happen in Christianity, but actually in humanism, or modern atheism. Schaeffer explains it this way:

Of course, faith is needed to become a Christian, but there are two concepts concerning faith. The two ideas of faith run like this: One idea of faith would be a blind leap in the dark. A blind leap in which you believe something with no reason (or no adequate reason), you just believe it. This is what I mean by a blind leap of faith. The other idea of faith, which has no relationship with this, none whatsoever, is that you are asked to believe something and bow before that something on the basis of good and adequate reasons. There is no relationship between those two concepts of faith. The biblical concept of faith is very much the second and not the first. You are not asked to believe in a blind leap of faith. The Bible teaches that there are good and sufficient reasons to know that these things are true. If you examine the ministry of Paul and also of Christ, you find they endlessly answered questions. There was no concept here of "Keep quiet, just believe"; it just does not exist. Paul answered the questions of the non-Jews, he was always answering questions; and the book of Romans certainly answered the questions of those without the Bible as well as of those with it. There are good and sufficient reasons to know that these things are true. We have already with the fact of reality and everybody having to deal with reality; (1) the existence of the universe and its form; (2) the dinstinctiveness of man; (3) you can relate these to a third thing, and that is the examination of the historicity of Scripture Francis Schaeffer

This is what the book aims to answer. Not only does Schaeffer answer these through the understanding of the triune God of historic Christianity, but he shows how humanism, or atheism, cannot fully answer these questions, therefore, they are the ones taking the "blind leap of faith", not Christianity. There is so much in this book that I did not mention, but Schaeffer had a strong conviction that the Christian cannot live in a castle with a moat, but must be among the culture to help answer the question of those that desire to know the answer to the question, "Why are we here?" He resonates much of what I desire to do within the ministries that God has given me and the convictions of my heart.

I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend anyone desiring to take up the challenge to read Schaeffer as well. I do not think that this is the only answer to the understanding of the existence of God, but believe it helps move us all in the right direction. Highly Recommended. Link to Buy


Anonymous said...

That is a good book to read.

Also, "How Shall We Then Live" is also. Edith's book, "Is Christianity Jewish" is very insightful as well. There are others too.

Be careful, you will get hooked and we won't see you for decades!

Happy reading!

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