Sunday, April 27, 2008

Episode #4: The Reformation

Some questions to ponder:

1. What about The Reformation has been lost even in Protestant Churches today?
2. How does the Reformation art Schaeffer displayed--Durer, Rembrandt--compare to Christian art today?
3. What is the exact meaning of "Sola Scriptura" with respect to knowledge and theological authority? What role does tradition have for a biblical Protestant?
4. Do you think the Reformers should have destroyed the idolatrous art of the Romanist churches?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Episode #3: Renaissance

Here are some questions on the last film.

1. How can a Christian appreciate art which has a nonChristian meaning or purpose?
2. What is a proper understanding of humanism?
3. Is there a Christian humanism?
4. How much emphasis should Christians place on art, even nonChristian art?
5. Why is so much "Christian art" so bad today--if you think it is?

Another book that looks at the development of modern art that you may want to read is Hans Rookmaaker, Art and the Death of Culture, which has been republished by Crossway. Rookmaaker was an associate of Schaeffer's, who taught at the Free University of Amsterdam and led the Dutch L'Abri for a time. Sadly, he died as a young man (about 51) in 1977.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Transcript of Schaeffer Message: "A Christian Manifesto"

A reader of this blog found a transcript of the Schaeffer lecture, "A Christian Manifesto" (1982). The DVD may now be hard to find, so I hope many of you will read the lecture. It is by no means dated.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Episode #2: The Middle Ages

The episode explored many things, but we focused on the relationship of faith and reason. Another way to think out is, How can we come to know that Christianity is true? How do claims in the Bible relate to claims outside of the Bible?

Today, most people put faith in a realm apart from fact. It looks like this:

Faith: values, preferences, unverifiable
Fact: empirical truths, verifiable

Let me know what you think, please.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Review of "A Christian Manifesto" DVD

This is a sermon delivered at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in 1982 by the seventy-year-old evangelist, apologist, theologian, preacher, teacher, author and activist, Francis A. Schaeffer. It was two years before his death from cancer in 1984. He was not a flashy speaker, but trades rather on reason, passion, and knowledge.

The message basically covers the material from his book, A Christian Manifesto (Crossway, 1981). Schaeffer argues that the secular humanist worldview is responsible for the loss of human value and religious freedoms in the United States. He claims that the Christian worldview will bring forth a different and better culture than a worldview that takes the ultimate reality to be impersonal matter. Schaeffer calls Christians to know their history and to know their Lord as the Master of all life, to use their political freedoms to counter the humanistic consensus in law and culture.

This is solid and stirring stuff. There was no bluff, no glibness, and no trivia in this brave and wise man. He saw the big picture, but did not revel in superficialities. His words are measured, but delivered with fire and light. May his tribe multiply in our day—twenty six years after he delivered this message, a day when abortion on demand is still the law of the land, when infants who survive abortions are left to die, when the infirm are left to die or actively killed (as with Terry Schiavo in 2005), a day when too many Christians are stupefied by conformist and apathetic ways of life that fail to honor Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

This is highly recommended for small groups, adult education classes, family viewing, and in Christian education (high school and above). It would serve the Kingdom of God well if every pastor in America saw this vide and read the book of the same title. Forget about Barna for awhile and take this into your soul.

As Schaeffer once wrote, “Oh, triune God. Shake the world again.”

Sunday, April 6, 2008

On Knowing History

Cicero: "To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child."

Winston Churchill: "Study history. Study history."

Episode One: The Roman Age

What are your responses to episode one, "The Roman Age?"

1. Do you think Schaeffer is accurate in his description?
2. What do you make of his theological assessment of the Roman gods?
3. How is American culture like Roman culture?
4. What can contemporary Christians learn from how the Roman Christians responded to their social and political situation?