Author: Francis A. Schaeffer.
First published: 1968.
Topic: Christian Apologetics and Living.
I first heard about Francis Schaeffer when I had just started studying and was an atheistic noggle-head (I’ve been told my usual way of describing who I was is a bit rude and crude for some people, so noggle-head it is). I heard very little about him, just that he would entertain conversation with all sorts of people with various beliefs and that he was supposedly a great Christian philosopher. It was only after I was saved that I heard his name come up again, this time specifically in connection with this book. My lecturer told us a story of how this book changed his mindset about many things and I greatly admired this lecturer. I only managed to get it a couple years later but hey, what can ya do?
The first third of the book comes from a very historical perspective as Schaeffer goes through various disciplines like art, philosophy, music and language. Philosophical statements and explanations are given throughout. The book soon delves into historic Christianity and its conflict with twentieth-century thinking and Francis Schaeffer tackles this well. Never once is he cruel or brash in his description of unbelievers, nor does he gloss over uncomfortable details. Every claim he makes and refutes is well-thought out and backed up adequately.
Schaeffer writes more on evangelism in the twentieth-century and about the lifestyle that the consistent atheist must live in the world. He talks about the character of God, the way that the Christian must display this in their lifestyle and the difficulties that face Christians in the modern world.
Honestly, I would recommend using a dictionary and a few history textbooks for the beginning of the book. It’s not an easy read but once you get used to Schaeffer’s language and writing style, it becomes a lot easier to understand and . I would say that the book is a must-have for anyone interested in apologetics or developing a better understanding of the dilemma of modern man and how to approach sharing the Gospel.