Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Written in 1984 ,Francis Schaeffer’s last book “Marking the Watershed” reads like a prophetic foretelling of what our future would look like if we fail to put Christ first in our hearts. In fact, it reads like a prequel to Ravi Zacharias‘s 2013 open letter to America.

Schaeffer uses a watershed as an illustration.
A Watershed is a place where snow would accumulate in the mountain peaks, and is it melts, the water would separate go in opposite directions and eventually end thousands of miles apart.
Schaeffer saw this beginning to happen to Christianity in regards to Biblical infallibility among evangelical Christian leaders as early as the early 1970’s.

My summary-Christianity ,in the past, has influenced the moral consensus for political debate, art, and books and movies in the United States of America, and the World. Now we are the minority, and so is our ability to influence culture.
As I’ve said before ,the will of the people is good so long as the people are good .</strong

These following excerpts,though almost thirty years old, resonate with current relevance.

“the Bible’s absolutes provide a consensus within which freedom can operate. But once the Christian consensus has been removed, as it has been today, then the very freedoms which have come out of the Reformation become a destructive force leading to chaos in society.” Francis Schaeffer

“The primary emphasis of biblical Christianity is the teaching that the infinite-personal God is the final reality, the Creator of all else, and that an individual can come openly to the holy God upon the basis of the finished work of Christ and that alone. Nothing needs to be added to Christ’s finished work, and nothing can be added to Christ’s finished work. But at the same time where Christianity provides the consensus, as it did in the Reformation countries (and did in the United States up to a relatively few years ago), Christianity also brings with it many secondary blessings. One of these has been titanic freedoms, yet without those freedoms leading to chaos, because the Bible’s absolutes provide a consensus within which freedom can operate. But once the Christian consensus has been removed, as it has been today, then the very freedoms which have come out of the Reformation become a destructive force leading to chaos in society. This is why we see the breakdown of morality everywhere in our society today — the complete devaluation of human life, a total moral relativism, and a thoroughgoing hedonism.”

“Without a strong commitment to God’s absolutes, the early church could never have remained faithful in the face of the constant Roman harassment and persecution. And our situation today is remarkably similar as our own legal, moral, and social structure is based on an increasingly anti-Christian, secularist consensus.”

The New Neo-Orthodoxy 

There is only one way to describe those who no longer hold to a full view of Scripture. Although many of these would like to retain the evangelical name for themselves, the only accurate way to describe this view is that it is a form of neo-orthodox existential theology. The heart of neo-orthodox existential theology is that the Bible gives us a quarry out of which to have religious experience, but that the Bible contains mistakes where it touches that which is verifiable — namely history and science. But unhappily we must say that in some circles this concept now has come into some of that which is called evangelicalism. In short, in these circles the neo-orthodox existential theology is being taught under the name of evangelicalism.

Martin Luther said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” (1)

“For the existentialist it is an illusion to think that we can know anything truly, that there is such a thing as certain objective truth or moral absolutes. All we have is subjective experience, with no final basis for right or wrong or truth or beauty. This existential world view dominates philosophy, and much of art and the general culture such as the novel, poetry, and the cinema.”

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