One in all my private eccentricities has to do with the way in which I keep in mind books which have modified my life. I keep in mind them chronologically and spatially. I keep in mind the place I used to be once I first learn the guide, and once I learn it. I additionally write that info on the within again cowl of the guide, simply in case I want a immediate to reminiscence.
In relation to Francis Schaeffer’s guide He’s There and He Is Not Silent, I want no reminder. It was 1976, I used to be 16 years outdated, and this was the primary of Schaeffer’s books that I learn. Extra precisely, tried to learn. Even with my restricted understanding of his argument, Schaeffer’s guide modified my life.
I used to be too younger to go to L’Abri, the hostel for younger those that Francis and Edith Schaeffer based in 1955, at its prime, however I learn Schaeffer’s books at simply the best time. I wanted assist, and in a rush. I used to be a teenage Christian thrown into religious bother by a succession of the terrible instructional, ethical, and cultural experiments of the Seventies. I used to be in an mental disaster. I wanted to know that God is actual and that the Bible is reliable. I had a few atheist lecturers who had been undermining each theistic argument and I used to be surrounded by an ethical revolution that immediately contradicted the Bible. I wanted assist. My pastor and youth pastor provided assist, however I wanted much more. I wanted a stalwart protection of Christian theism and biblical reality.
By God’s windfall I used to be launched to D. James Kennedy, pastor of Fort Lauderdale’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, which was proper down the road. Over time, Dr. Kennedy ministered to me each by his writings and by private dialog. Kennedy was the primary Christian mental I met, and he was very beneficiant with a younger Baptist with huge questions. It was Dr. Kennedy who instructed that I learn one guide specifically, Schaeffer’s He Is There and He’s Not Silent.
The guide didn’t begin out as a guide, however as a sequence of talks to inquisitive and anxious younger adults at L’Abri. Schaeffer understood that the trendy religious disaster is an mental disaster, and that the mental disaster is a religious disaster. On the heart of this disaster is a denial of God, and that denial of God produces an mental disaster that rapidly interprets right into a cultural and ethical disaster. The one central level that Schaeffer drove residence was that the existence of the God of the Bible adjustments all the things.
There is just one reality, one worldview, that’s adequate to clarify the world round us and the world inside us. “Just one fills the philosophical want of existence, of being, and it’s the Judeo-Christian God—not simply an summary idea, however slightly that this God is actually there,” Schaeffer argued. “He actually exists. There isn’t a different reply, and orthodox Christians should be ashamed of getting been defensive for thus lengthy. It’s not a time to be defensive. There isn’t a different reply.” The important thing to understanding the whole cosmos, Schaeffer asserted, is figuring out that He’s there.
And but, we might be left misplaced within the cosmos however for God’s initiative in talking to us. Our Christian dependence upon the Bible is whole. We all know the reality solely as a result of the God who’s there just isn’t silent. God speaks. He provides us a number of testimonies to Himself and glimpses of His glory in nature, however He reveals himself authoritatively and verbally within the Holy Scriptures. In the end, God reveals Himself savingly within the Son, the Phrase develop into flesh.
Schaeffer understood that younger individuals have large questions, and he threw himself into these questions for the sake of witness to Christ and the gospel. He was an evangelist at coronary heart, and he knew that the mental crises of the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies introduced Christians with an enormous problem. He was sure that Christianity was absolutely as much as the problem. “As a Christian,” he wrote, “I’ve the epistemology that allows me to not get confused between what I feel and what’s objectively actual. The fashionable era doesn’t have this, and that is the explanation why some children are all torn up in these areas. However Christians shouldn’t be torn up right here.”
Schaeffer was my first introduction to phrases like epistemology, metaphysics, and worldview. To be trustworthy, at age 16 I didn’t perceive most of Schaeffer’s philosophical and ideological references. However, I used to be studying, and quick. I used to be not studying out of mere curiosity, however out of desperation. I used to be crammed with dread that the solutions to the most important questions of life had been unknowable and that maybe Christianity was intellectually indefensible.
He Is There and He Is Not Silent was the third guide in what Francis Schaeffer known as his “trilogy.” I learn the final first after which backfilled with the primary two titles, The God Who Is There, and Escape from Cause. In line with my observe within the guide, it was the 57th guide I purchased with my very own cash. It was cash properly spent. I hint my vocation as theologian, preacher, and apologist, not less than partly, again to my studying of this one guide. I honored Francis Schaeffer, and this particular guide, within the titles of two of my very own books, He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World and We Can’t Be Silent: Talking Fact to a Tradition Redefining Intercourse Marriage, and the Very Which means of Proper and Fallacious.
Schaeffer’s guide got here out in 1972, 50 years in the past. I didn’t need the yr to go with out expressing my gratitude to Francis Schaeffer for this affect on my life. As a 16-year-old boy, I didn’t perceive a lot of what he wrote. However I did perceive this, and it stays foundational to my religion and worldview:
If He’s there, and if He isn’t silent, I’m saved, and I’m protected—and I’ve everlasting reality to inform.