Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Schaeffer: The Mark of the Christian - 1

Today I start a series of posts to highlight a book by Dr. Francis Schaeffer. Schaeffer was a brillent man and prolific author, and is well known to students of theology and the church. In a very real sense, Schaeffer -- a theologian, political activist, and Professor of Philosophy Apologetics -- was in many ways a modern day Prophet. One of his most popular books, was indeed, a prophetic assessment and challenge to the church, called: The Church at the End of the 20th Century.

At the conclusion of that work, Schaeffer includes an Apendix entitled: "The Mark of the Christian." This material was so profound that it later merited its own book. And it is this work that I want to carefully review and interact with over the next week or so.

Wriiten in the midst of the social upheavel of the early 1970s, the message of The Mark of the Christian is just as relevant and needed in the church today. In this text, Schaeffer writes about what he will call "the final (ultimate) apologetic" of the Church and the Christian faith.

I have read and reread -- and listened to -- this book several times over the past few weeks (note: it is only 38 pages), and anything which has my attention likes this, in the least, deserves my writing attention. Thus, I will be reviewing and interacting with it here.

Unplanned -- at least not by me -- this morning, the day I was going to begin this series of posts, my scheduled bible reading included Romans 12:9-14. I was struct by how approriately it fits the thesis of Scaheffer's book. Thus, before I begin the direct discussion with Schaeffer, I thought it would be good to included the Romans passage here. When I get into the book, the conncetion will become very obvious. In the meantime, the Apostle Paul writes:

Marks of the True Christian (the ESV heading for this passage)

9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with

I will begin the book tomorrow. In the meantime, you can access an online version of the book here >>>

3 John 8
Bill H.

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