If you are looking into the life of Francis Schaeffer, it is best to get the most qualified and accurate resources. Those beginning to read, may find that there are some authors that have written on Dr. Schaeffer, who actually seem to have read very little of his work. There are also those who have injected their own bias into the interpretation of Dr. Schaeffer's life. For this reason, we have chosen the following works, based on their accuracy, integrity and closeness to the Schaeffer story. It goes without saying, that perhaps the most significant works on the history of Francis Schaeffer, have been written by Edith Schaeffer. So, while these works, should not be forgotten, we will focus our attention on others who have written about them for this blog post. However, if you have not read Edith's L'Abri we highly recommend you do so. Also, her books The Tapestry and Dear Family, as well as With Love Edith, all explore their history at greater depth.
#5 - Francis Schaeffer, The Man and His Message, Louis Gifford Parkhurst, Jr.
Mr Parkhurst became a Christian while speaking with the Schaeffers, and would serve as their pastor during the last years of Dr. Schaeffer's life. In the introduction, he mentions in passing, that he celebrated Dr. Schaeffer's last communion with him at his hospital bedside a few months before he died.
Mr. Parkhurst also wrote two other works on the Schaeffer's, 1) Francis and Edith Schaeffer and 2) How God Teaches Us to Pray: Lessons from the Lives of Francis and Edith Schaeffer.
You can also read Dr. Groothuis' review here.
#4 - Francis Schaeffer, Portraits of the Man and His Work, Edited by Lane T. Dennis
#3 - Francis Schaeffer, A Mind and Heart for God, Edited by Bruce A. Little
#2 - Schaeffer, on the Christian Life: Countercultural Spirituality, William Edgar
Some of you may be familiar with Bill's work that was published in the Westminister Theological Journal, entitled, Two Christian Warriors: Cornelius Van Til and Francis A. Schaeffer Compared. As a student of both men, he provided some wonderful insights into their similarities and differences.
#1 - Francis Schaeffer, An Authentic Life, by Colin Duriez
It is significant that Dr. Schaeffer's former editor James Sire had this to say this:
Francis Schaeffer was an amazing man-intellectually brilliant and set on truth, emotionally intense, devoted to God and compassionate; like Jeremiah, perplexed by the world, not because he didn't understand it but because he did. As one of his editors, I came to know him well, but only after he emerged as a writer. For me Colin Duriez fills in the fascinating details of his early years. Yes, this was the man I knew-one who was surprised by God as his influence grew from his pastoring small churches to teaching thousands in auditoriums around the world, from conversations one on one or with a handful of students to intellectual sparring with elite secular scholars and pundits. Duriez knows his subject; Schaeffer, the Jeremiah of the twentieth century, walks and talks again in these pages.
—James W. Sire, Author, The Universe Next Door and A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics
I hope you have enjoyed this walk through the top five Schaeffer biographies that we recommend. You are sure to be blessed by reading them and will find them worth your valuable time. You may not feel called to make understanding Dr. Schaeffer a personal quest as much as we have, but you may find that by exploring some of these works, you will understand why!
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