Contend Earnestly: Our Unique Opportunity: Francis Schaeffer

Friday, November 07, 2008

Our Unique Opportunity: Francis Schaeffer

I am currently reading "The God Who is There" by Francis Schaeffer and am really enjoying it. I am very angry at myself for not reading him earlier in life. He is truly amazing in thought and practice. I came to this thought from him and thought I would share it. Enjoy, and have a great weekend:

But we cannot take advantage of our opportunity, if we let go in either thought or practice that methodology of antithesis (that is, that A is A and A is not non-A). If a thing is true, the opposite is not true; if a thing is right, the opposite is wrong.

If our own young people within the churches and those of the world outside see us playing with the methodology of synthesis, in our teaching and evangelism, in our policies and institutions, we can never expect to take advantage of this unique moment of opportunity presented by the death of romanticism. If we let go of our sense of antithesis, we will have nothing left to say.

Moreover, not only will we have nothing to say, we become nothing. Christianity ceases to exist, though it may still keep its outward institutional form. Christianity demands antithesis, not as some abstract concept of truth, but in the fact that God exists, and in personal justification. the biblical concept of justification is a total, personal antithesis. Before justification, we were dead in the kingdom of darkness. The Bible says that in the moment that we accept Christ we pass from death to life. This is total antithesis at the level of the individual man. Once we begin to slip over into the other methodology- a failure to hold on to an absolute which can be known by the whole man, including what is logical and rational in him- historic Christianity is destroyed, even if it seems to keep going for a time. We may not know it, but when this occurs, the marks of death are upon it, and it will soon be one more museum piece.

To the extent that anyone gives up the mentality of antithesis, he has moved over to the other side, even if he still tries to defend orthodoxy or evangelicalism. If Christians are to take advantage of the death of romanticism, we must consciously build back the mentality and practice of antithesis among Christians in doctrine and life. We must do it by our teaching and by example in our attitude toward compromise, both ecclesiastically and in evangelism. To fail to exhibit that we take truth seriously at those points where there is cost in our doing so, is to push the next generation int the relative, dialectical millstreams that surrounds us.

Finally, and with due reverence, may I emphasize that not only should we have genuine compassion for the lost among whom we live, but also concern for our God. We are His people, and if we get caught up in the other methodology, we have really blasphemed, discredited, and dishonored Him - for the greatest antithesis of all is that God exists as opposed to His not existing; He is the God who is there.


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