Francis Schaeffer’s Double-Edged Ethic
by Peggy J. Haslar
Though we may desire with all our hearts to “speak the truth in love,” a look at any two Christian groups in conflict will prove how difficult this commandment is to practice. It is the orthodox Christian’s dilemma: how is an uncompromising defense of the Christian faith maintained, without appearing to belittle those outside it? Why is conviction so often equated with lack of love, while the “peacemakers” among us hesitate to confront heresy at all? Francis August Schaeffer (1912–1984) was one who spoke unequivocally for both the practice of purity within the church, and the simultaneous practice of love. The man who summed up his message in the phrase, “the Lordship of Christ in the totality of life,” provided helpful instruction in, and a practical example of a loving, yet uncompromising, Christian life.
At L’Abri Fellowship, which Francis and Edith Schaeffer founded in Switzerland in 1955, modern men and women found an intellectually-grounded Christian faith which could stand against the tide of twentieth-century relativism. Schaeffer’s analysis of history and culture showed Christianity to be the only philosophy which could adequately address both intellectual questions and real, human problems. He was particularly adept at exposing the fallacies of existentialism, Eastern mysticism, and religious liberalism.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor