FRANCISSCHAEFFERSTUDIES VIDEOS

The Francis Schaeffer Collection - The L. Rush Bush Center for Faith & Culture The Schaeffer Legacy Project - An Interview With Dr. David Calhoun of Covenant Theological Seminary What is True Spirituality? Francis Schaeffer at International Congress of World Evangelism, Lausanne, Switzerland, July 1974 Whatever Happened To The Human Race? - Playlist The Mark of A Christian Class - Playlist What did Schaeffer See? A Christian Manifesto - Playlist
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

NAMES & ISSUES - REMEMBERING THE BATTLE WE ARE IN

Dr. Schaeffer, in this vintage lecture from 1983 (project info), deals with the matter of terminology and connotations. How often have we seen the Biblical Christian characterized and marginalized in our culture? Yet, how often have we seen the very believers who supposedly hold such positions, abuse the terminology as well? In the eyes of our culture, the Fundamentalist is often defined by both real and perceived legalism. Likewise, the later term Evangelical, is often characterized by a salesman salvation, lack of intellectual standing, moral hypocrisy, and what may be construed as purely negative political views.

Names like these, have not only become buzz words for slander, but their stereotypes have also remained a feature in the church and a model for many, even under criticism. Schaeffer warns us not to live up to the stereotypes as the world defines them, but to be the type of Christians that stand for change that the world truly needs. A change that demonstrates Truth. Truth that demands loving confrontation, but honest truth nonetheless, with a spirituality not based on a false pietism.

This video is from the 1983 L'Abri Conference in Atlanta recorded by Soundword Associates. The lecture, is one that Schaeffer previously had given on May 11, 1983 in Minneapolis at the Evangelical Press Association Convention. A transcript of this lecture is available here: http://edmontonbpc.org/wp/2012/02/names-and-issues-by-francis-schaeffer/

We have released this video in it's full form with the rather lengthy Q&A intact, as Dr. Schaeffer's answer to the questions are perhaps even more valuable than the lecture itself, which many already know of. It is our plan to release these in smaller segment forms in the future, so watch for these! May you be stirred by this powerful lecture!

Monday, January 27, 2014

5 IDEAS - AN INTRODUCTION TO LABRI - DICK KEYES - 1984 SOUNDWORD LABRI CONFERENCE VIDEO

One of the most wonderful highlights of rediscovering these old Soundword L'Abri conference videos is the significant messages that capture the core thought of L'Abri in such concise ways. They show, yet again, how revolutionary these concepts actually are, even now. In this, our third release, Dick Keyes chooses five significant points to cover that display the hallmark notions of L'Abri. While these may be common to those familiar with L'Abri, many may yet be new to these concepts. Here they are, but I ask you to please take time to watch the 15 minute video to get more context from the excellent observations for Mr. Keyes:
  1. Christianity as Truth
  2. The Reality of the Super-Natural / The Necessity of Prayer
  3. The Humanness of Spirituality / Engaging the Mind in Spirituality
  4. Living in the Shadow of the Fall
  5. The Lordship of Christ in the Whole of Life

The reason why I request you watch the video, even if you are familiar with these concepts, is that one will quickly note in hearing of these five points of emphasis is that we may likely be nudged to ask ourselves, "How have we done in conveying these notions?" Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have we done enough to dispel the myths of the efficacy of the cold, dead, casual, lukewarm, Christianity that views Christianity as some sort of disconnected belief system not connected with us personally in reality? 
  2. Have we emphasized enough a spirituality that is connected with reality, that engages both the heart and mind and is capable of igniting our passions for worship, service and life? 
  3. Have we conveyed the real realities of what it means to live in a fallen world instead of the weak plastic platitudes of the false-pietism of abusive legalism or it's counterpart of all-inclusivism?
  4. Have we plumbed the depths of the truest definitions and understandings of Christianity?  Have we truly considered what the Lordship of Christ in the whole of life actually means?

To our shame, as Christians, perhaps these notions have remained in many respects simply L'Abri points of emphasis, even though they are truly Christian concepts. As Dick Keyes identifies in the video,

...these [ideas] are not something we have a corner on, they are the property of the whole Christian Church, but we do find that they are peculiarly under-emphasized today.

This begs the question, "Why?" Why, some 30 years after the filming of this lecture, are these still notions of L'Abri ideas and not the part of the emphasis of the church as a whole? Even with international exposure and popularity, Dr. Schaeffer still remained frustrated that these paraphrases of the classic Christian faith that he had been preaching much of his life, were largely not being grasped and employed. Much analysis can be done to historically isolate the misguided failures and entanglements of modern Evangelicalism. Yet, we must consider that righting a large ship might just start with thousands of small adjustments and not one swift unanimous turn. The turn should involve highlighting and teaching the most valuable truths of the Christian faith, which is, itself the answer to the dilemma the world finds itself in. L'Abri has never taken a posture of arrogance, or postured itself against other groups, but has consistently strived to proclaim the truth in a fallen world, helping as many as will listed. To their credit, this has also served to preserve the message, a message balanced in truth and love. As we press on, we also must continue to proclaim truth, being true to our risen Lord, in spite of the error we see both in and outside the church.

As you watch this video, think about these things, ponder how you can bring about reformation and revival.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

COMMON SENSE CULTURAL REFORMATION

Without much fanfare, a month ago, we quietly released the second of the Sound Word L'Abri Conference Videos.  This time we were privileged to release Edith Schaeffer's lecture on Common Sense Christian Living (Nehemiah). The lecture is on the last chapter of her book entitled Common Sense Christian Living.

Edith mentions in the first portions of the video that the book is based on a film series by the same title.  This films are now rare and hard to find, but was reportedly a five part series divided into the following sections: Part 1. & 2.) Continuity in Family. 3. & 4.) What is Real Spirituality? 5.) What is Prayer. The book is organized differently but expands on that content.

The book release and this lecture take place in the early part of 1983 in which Edith Schaeffer was 68 years old. The last chapter of the book, that Edith reads from and discusses in this lecture, is entitled "Sensible Balance in Building and Battle" and speaks in regard to the example of Nehemiah.

The story of Nehemiah is of course the return of Israel to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the walls wherein the Israelites found themselves performing the dual task of rebuilding for the future and fighting off those trying to thwart their efforts. I can think of very few illustrations that so parallel and typifies the life of the Christian in a post-Christian world. For while we seek to rebuild and reform culture, we often find ourselves battling on every side, with forces who wish to tear down. While the illustration is not literal, in the sense that we are not doing physical battle, we are however to strive to apply Christian principles, and resist the ungodly spirit of the age. At times we feel torn between building and battling, but both must be our task. We must have a true basis of spirituality and foundation in Christ or else we might find ourselves in despair, seeing only losses and not seeing the spiritual victories that are won amidst even the darkest of circumstances, and being true to the truth of scriptures and our savior's message of hope.

Edith here speaks with much wisdom, to relevant matters to Christians in our time. How do we live the Lordship of Christ in the whole of life, when our culture is categorized by many, including Francis Schaeffer, as post-Christian?

There was another age in which war was constantly on the church's doorstep, while the church was trying to reform, and that was the Protestant Reformation. For this reason, I think one possible summary for the book, might be "Common Sense Cultural Reformation."We hope you will enjoy the video and take this very relevant message to heart!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

THREE YEARS, THREE GOALS, THREE FOUNDATIONS

It's hard to believe that francisschaefferstudies.org is three years old, and that so much has happened in such a short amount of time. Within just three years we were blessed to be able to put on our first mini-conference called The Francis Schaeffer Centennial honoring Schaeffer's 100th birthday, recorded several live events, taught four Schaeffer semester classes, created our first documentary (for the Francis Schaeffer Collection at SEBTS), interviewed eight scholars for the Francis Schaeffer Legacy Project and created over 50 videos. Thousands have visited the web site in both it's early and revised form and we have had over 30,000 views on the blog. Social media, particularly Facebook has really taken off, where the fan page has 1700+ followers and the group has over 500 members. Some of our proudest achievements have been ones that are more dear to our heart; historical preservation. We have been blessed to find and recover numerous historical documents and items in our acquisitions project that have been digitized and shared with other Schaeffer organizations. We can only stand amazed at all that has happened and are so thankful for all that God has provided and the many friends we have met along the way. We are thankful for you all!

In three years our goals have been to accomplish three things:
  1. To Be a Resource: To be a fan site and resources for the promotion and study of the works of Francis and Edith Schaeffer.
  2. For the Next Generation: To assist in passing the works of Francis & Edith Schaeffer to the next generation and make their thought and teaching more accessible for general inquiry.
  3. To Provide a Service: To be  a service to the Francis Schaeffer and L'Abri community.
Our primary foundations have really been three core principles:
  1. Honoring Leadership Biblically: To be mindful of the Biblical principle of leadership and the instruction to "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7 ESV)
  2. Preserving Legacy: To be careful to be mindful of the legacy of Francis and Edith Schaeffer and preserve their history and message as closely as possible.
  3. Total Lordship: To effectively communicate the Lordship of Christ in the whole of life, which was the foundational principle of the Schaeffer's message.
Our goals for the coming year are to build on our three goals and stick to our primary motivations. Our list of projects for the future is as full as the list of accomplishments God has allowed. We continue to praise God for His provision, as His hand as been evident in every step of this work. We hope that you will join us in prayer and follow along as we continue to provide this free service.

Dan Guinn
Founder, Francis Schaeffer Studies

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ARTICLE: CHRISTMAS HOPE IN CONTRAST TO STATISM

At this time of year my family and I spend a lot of time watching Christmas movies together, and one of our favorite Christmas themes is the story by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. After watching numerous adaptations in various levels of accuracy to the original story, one begins to be struck by the more specific intentions of the tale that still come through. At first blush, each year we get the drift that Scrooge just doesn't like Christmas, but the deeper elements of the story speak of greed, poverty, the roles of the church and state, godlessness, Godliness and statism. Dickens has crafted a profound Christmas story on social justice. For while we might disagree with some of the theological symbolism used in Dickens' story, we must realize that the portrayal of ghost was meant to cut through to matters of deep self reflection rather than form a systematic teaching on the paranormal. 

So after watching different versions several times over and reading from the story to refresh my memory, in my mind this prompted some correlation with Schaeffer's teachings in certain areas. Although, this might seem strange, I think it will be worthwhile for your consideration and very relevant for today.

Scrooge, as we may remember, is confronted near the beginning of the story with the request to give a donation for those in need by a Christian who is trying to raise funds to help the poor. 
'At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge,' said the gentleman, taking up a pen, 'it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.' ~ Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Scrooge questions the very necessity, since in his thinking, there are programs to answer these needs. Yet, it is at this point we hear from the Christian that he feels the normal social programs are not only inadequate, but further that they do not furnish the Christian standard. History in fact suggest that the standards were horrific.
'Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,' returned the gentleman, 'a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?'  ~ Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Yet, we must not forget that from a certain paradigm, Scrooge's justification for not giving seems like a quite logical one, for he asserts that since he pays his taxes, he funds the prisons, Union Workhouses, and such, and he has paid enough.
'I wish to be left alone,' said Scrooge. 'Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned-they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.' ~ Dickens, A Christmas Carol
However, when told that "Many can't go there; and many would rather die." Scrooge makes the most memorable and appallingly cold statement which shows the darkness of his heart:
they had better do it [die], and decrease the surplus population ~ Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Scrooge later attempts to further excuse himself from not knowing of people's desire not to go into the state system by claiming such matters are not his business, after all, he has enough to attend to with his own business. This may be a truthful remark for the character, due to how we know he has shut himself off from society. Yet, ignorance of the matter only serves to highlight his neglect.

What Dickens so masterfully crafted in his time is a tale that both has an immediate relationship to the results of greed, but also the matters of social injustice and the Christian answer. While the injustice described of a growing state with often inhumane "solutions" and questionable ethics is a far cry from our circumstances, we should all nevertheless see some resemblance to practices that are alive and well today, as the tendency of the state to establish cold and impersonal solutions, which is still happening in our time.

Even with a Christian base, in a fallen world, the solutions, although intended for good, can always be abused. The Dickens story for example, has Scrooge mentioning prisons at first as one of the solutions he supports. This might seem out of place unless one understands that in that day and age a person would be more likely to be imprisoned for being a vagabond than they are now. As a society, it was unacceptable for one not to work, as there was a strong adherence to at least the concepts conveyed by 2 Thess 3:10 ( If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.), although over-zealously so. It was not until the Elizabethan Poor Law that England saw progress toward correcting poverty rather than mostly punishing it indiscriminately. In Dickens' time, idleness (laziness) was still very punishable. So it should be noted that we are very far from these sort of laws in our times, so much so, that Dickens would likely view our culture as greatly immoral in this area.

So if Christian solutions in a fallen world can be abused, or on converse even ignored, we easily can see how, in a fallen world with an improper base, the results will be exponentially worse and be more consistency inhuman. This is something Schaeffer understood well:
We must realize that this view will with inevitable certainty always bring forth results which are not only relativistic, and not only wrong, but which will be inhuman, not only for other people, but for our children and grandchildren, and our spiritual children. It will always bring forth what is inhuman, for with its false view of total reality it not only does not have a basis for the uniqueness and dignity of the individual person, but it is totally ignorant as to what, and who, Man is. ~ Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto
In fact, when Schaeffer was asked once by R.C. Sproul, what his most processing concern was for America, his answer was immediately: "Statism." While we may think to point fingers at our culture at this point, it is quite another to provide workable solutions, and the church has been inept to do so sufficiently.

Yet, in contrast, it often surprises me that Christians do not often stop and reflect on the substantial example the church has had and the answers we have over the two children under the Ghost of Christmas Present's robe, known as Ignorance and Want.

Ignorance: Schaeffer said that...
Christianity is the greatest intellectual system the mind of man has ever touched. ~ Francis Schaeffer
Want: Scrooge, in Dickens' story, was content with treating men in a mechanical way and would leave them to the care of some social program rather than taking the time for to give personally. In contrast, Schaeffer affirmed the Biblical dignity of man that requires us to address the needs of others as we treat them as they are, created in the image of God. Here again a relevant quote:
Every time we act in a machine-like way toward another man we deny the central teaching of the Word of God-that there is a personal God who has created man in His own image. ~ Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality

Christmas Hope
In the end, A Christmas Carol hopes to inspire a right devotion and celebration of Christmas. Thinking of Christmas, what other tradition in history has celebrated a global impacting celebration for over a thousand plus years? What other tradition throws the world into celebration of giving each year and promotes such goodwill? The legacy of Christmas as a holiday itself has promoted more goodwill in the world than any other tradition in history?

One scene that is often skipped in most of the versions of A Christmas Carol, is the one where Scrooge goes to church and the realization of his newfound "walk," which implies the right devotion and Christmas hope.
He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk -- that anything -- could give him so much happiness.  ~ Dickens, A Christmas Carol
 It is remarkable the joy that comes, and the delight Scrooge found:
 The Creator, as Abba, Father, will even now dry my tears and there will be joy. this is the meaning of true spirituality... ~ Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality
 And it was unmoved by ridicule:
Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; ~ Dickens, A Christmas Carol
My validity and my status are found in being before the God who is there. My basic validity and my basic status do not depend upon what men think of me. ~ Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality

So now finally, upon reflection of all of this, I will leave you with the significant closing remarks of Dickens, which are all the more significant when we consider the secondary themes.
it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One! ~ Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Merry Christmas!
from francisschaefferstudies.org

Dan Guinn
      

Saturday, November 30, 2013

FIRST SOUNDWORD L'ABRI VIDEO RELEASED!! - THE QUESTION OF APOLOGETICS

We are pleased to announce the first release of the 1983-84 Soundword L'Abri Conference Videos. If you would like more information on this project please select one of the two following links.
NEWS: RARE SCHAEFFER VIDEOS TO BE RELEASED

SOUDWORD SCHAEFFER VIDEO PROGRESS

Our first release is entitled The Question of Apologetics by Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer. In this lecture Dr. Schaeffer reads from and discusses Appendix A of the first volume of his Complete Works.

Dr. Schaeffer opens with an explanation about the Complete Works and a fascinating clarification about his apologetics. He states that, "When I wrote The God Who Is There, I had no intention of writing a book on apologetics. It took me by surprise, the furor it made in some sections [of the church]." This tells us much about Dr. Schaeffer's core desire for writing his first works. It seems quite clear that although these first works have apologetic value, his interest was one of speaking the historic Christian position into the twentieth century (the subtitle of his first work and the 1965 Wheaton lectures), as an evangelical message. In fact, we know from the Francis Schaeffer Collection manuscripts at SEBTS that "Speaking the historic Christian position into the twentieth century" was the title of The God Who Is There before the name was changed during the editing process. So Schaeffer's first work was not written out of an academic desire to produce his first work as an apologete, but simply to challenge culture with the historic Christian position. Nevertheless, we know from from his history, that his work inspired and enabled many an apologist. This is all part of the enigma that is Schaeffer and what fascinates so many of us.

At the end of the lecture, there is a short Q&A time where he fields a question in regard to his old teacher Cornelius Van Til. It is a fascinating answer, yet in watching you will note Schaeffer's fatigue is showing a bit at this point, as in all of these videos he is dealing with the difficulties of cancer in these late years of his life. Dr. Schaeffer nevertheless answers the question, although perhaps not at the length or depth many of us would have desired. You'll want to make sure you catch this part!

This video is largely uncut. There was a pre-lecture segment that we cut, which we will utilize in a later video. Our reason for this cut was to get the viewer directly into the lecture content which is one hour and 10 minutes long with the Q&A section that followed included. The camera work is rather rough at times and we did not take time to do adjustments to compensate for them as we were content to leave the video in it's more vintage original form. Our methodology was to capture at the highest possible resolution from the original tapes and then make slight adjustments to the lighting to best bring out the original composition. The graphic footer overlays and production additions are part of our agreement for distribution.

We would again, like to thank Soundword Associates and L'Abri Fellowship for entrusting us with this task. We hope you enjoy the video and seeing Dr. Schaeffer once again!

Friday, October 11, 2013

SOUDWORD SCHAEFFER VIDEO PROGRESS

Work continues on the Soundword L'Abri Conference videos and we are over half way through the capture process! We are already making some major discoveries that are sure to stir up interest. Some of these are just a greater realization of what we are working with. However, others are more significant in relation to understanding Schaeffer's thought.


Note: if you are just finding out about the video project read this related post.

Firstly, as we anticipated, we are finding that there is slightly more content that was originally described on the labels. In the case of one of the Introductions to L'Abri tapes we found, for example, we also had material from L'Abri workers such as Dick Keyes, Richard Winter, Hank Hervormddussen of Dutch L'Abri and Udo Middelmann. So we were really overjoyed to see these "young men" speaking on the work of L'Abri.

Dick Keyes Hank Hervormddussen

Dr. Richard Winter Udo Middlemann


Yet, the other category of findings are in relation to common questions asked in regard to Schaeffer even today. These come out in the Q & A segments, where Schaeffer fields these questions. Here are just a couple:
  1. Is Schaeffer a Reconstructionist? You'll be able to hear him answer this question in his own words!
  2. How is Schaeffer's apologetic different than Cornelius Van Til? Schaeffer fields this question as well.
  3. What should we do to evangelize our culture and stand for truth? What role does spirituality have in this? (Note: That Schaeffer's lecture was in relation to politics.)  Schaeffer's answer is pretty much a lecture within itself... and we can tell you that you will not want to miss this one!

Next Steps?

Our plans are to begin to release a few of the more significant segments such as the ones mentioned above and then release items in both larger portions and also the full un-cut videos that have been selected by our Facebook Group.

However, some of the Q & A content is so substantial, that we have decided to launch a new project called Schaeffer FAQ, in which we answer common questions we are regularly asked about Schaeffer with video from Schaeffer himself.

Expect some more immediate small segment releases shortly!

Providence!
Dan Guinn

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NEW-MODERNISM OR CHRISTIANITY - SCHAEFFER'S FORGOTTEN FIRST BOOK?

As you might have noticed our acquisitions project has really began to take off. We have much to tell you about the many finds we have had in the last several months, but there are some that we have had to push to the front. This title of course is one of them.

On the same day we received the video masters of the Schaeffer videos from 1983 & 1984 from Sound Word that we will soon begin to release for public viewing in digital form,  we also received a book in the mail from Italy which my partner Jason Schaitel was able to track down. This is not just any book mind you, but a book in French dated back to 1951 and perhaps is Schaeffer's oldest book.

The name, Neo_Modernisme-Ou-Christianisme, translated is New Modernism or Christianity: Barthianism in the Light of the Word of God. In order to get a scope on the significance of the booklet, consider that this book is privately published 14 years before Schaeffer's 1965 Wheaton Lectures which was privately printed for Wheaton and Westmont called Speaking the Historic Christian Position Into the 20th Century and is the basis for The God Who Is There. In fact, this bookled was published 17 years before Schaeffer's first officially printed work and predates the foundation of L'Abri by four years.

To be clear, this is actually a small booklet and the contents is perhaps about the length of The Mark of a Christian, but it is six chapters long and gives a rebuttal of the teachings of Karl Barth. Yet to our knowledge, outside of printed pamphlets and articles, this seems to have been the first of any material by Schaeffer ever put into a book-like form.

Some readers may recall from Schaeffer's history that in 1950 he gave a lecture at the Second Plenary Congress of the International Council of Christian Churches on Barth and the new modernism entitled, The New Modernism (Neo-Orthodoxy) and the Bible. The following year it was published in the Baptist Bulletin as An Examination of the New Modernism (which you can read on line here). Yet, apparently the work on the subject did not stop there. It was further developed into the content of a booklet, and here it is!

Although the work itself has been somewhat forgotten, with a little digging we can see that Mrs. Schaeffer once again comes to our aid. Edith, ever the documenter, although not mentioning the book by name explicitly anywhere (that we know of), did in fact tell us about it in The Tapestry.  Here is what she said:

In August of 1950 Fran gave a talk at the Second Plenary Congress of the International Council of Christian Churches in Geneva, Switzerland. The title was "The New Modernisn (Neo-Orthodoxy) and the Bible." This talk contained material which really has been the basis of all he has said since on the "existential methodology" showing the destructiveness of Karl Barth's teaching. (This was translated into French and Portuguese at the time.) 
Note the last line. It is not specific, but tells us that the aforementioned lecture was translated into French and Portuguese. We'll continue with this in a moment.

In The Tapestry (page 314), Edith goes on to tell about the exchange between Schaeffer and Barth that is worth retelling to clarify why Schaeffer was writing this paper. Just prior to the presentation to the I.C.C.C. in Geneva, Schaeffer and four other scholars visited with Karl Barth face to face to discuss many of the related issues. The meeting attendees included Schaeffer and the four other theologians (G. Douglas Young, J. Oliver Buswell, James E. Bennet, and Peter Stam). During this meeting Schaeffer asked Barth a simple question, “Did God create the world?” Barth answered, “God created the world in the first century A.D.” As Edith recalls the dialogue, she describes how Fran then “waved his arms out over the beauty in front of them, pointing to the tree-covered hills sweeping down to the lake” and asked, “This world?” Barth answered, “This world doesn’t matter.” These responses served to underscore what Schaeffer had already concluded and was preparing to present. Barth’s concept of “religious truth” systematically analyzed, stripped Christianity of it's historicity and put religious concepts in the "upper story." Schaeffer admits at the end of his presentation, “In the short time we were with Barth it was not possible to explore all the facets contained in this paper, but it’s basic approach and conclusions were shown to be sound.” Schaeffer sent the paper to Barth and had hoped that Barth would pursue further dialogue, but Barth’s response was one of dissatisfaction.


So now, picking up where we left off, upon finding an actual copy of the book on this topic by Schaeffer in French, we were able to find out that the organization that published the material is called "Action Biblique," an evangelical organization that does ministry to French and Portuguese speaking countries. Edith notes in her letters that after the Congress, Schaeffer went with Dr. MacRae to Morges to speak with the leaders of a French Christian organization gathered there (pg 177 With Love, Edith), while we cannot be sure that this is the same organization it is at least plausible. Likewise, she later recalls in passing, a humorous story of her and Fran running late, rushing through the market section of Geneva to meet with "Action Biblique,"  all along trying to get Francis to stop for deals on oranges and dates. Yet we are never given the specifics of the arrangement of the printing or if it was established at this time. However, what we can conclude is how the booklets were used based of how Edith explained the ministry. The ministry of "Action Biblique" was such that they trained persons for ministry and in a trade for a year and then sent them out to minister. They would then return for another year of training and so on. Their trade would allow them to specify on their passports a worker designation and would allow them more access. They, in turn, would often distribute various forms of literature. Since the dimensions on this little booklet are only 12cm x 18cm (Approx 4 3/4" X 7"), we can conclude that they were designed to be used in this fashion and were a means to reach out to people in these countries.

After we confirmed the booklet, we were in contact with Dr. Little the custodian of the Francis Schaeffer Collection at SEBTS and he was able to confirm that they have several of them. We were extremely excited to make this discovery and to own a copy to further research.

Our plan for the booklet is already underway. We have completed a digital graphic scan of the booklet and will be performing an OCR scan next. Thereafter, we will run the copy through a digital translator and then we will begin working with one or more French speaking persons to help us confirm the translation. Finally, when we are done, we will explore copyright restrictions and what rights we might be able to procure to release the the information publicly or not.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

NEWS: RARE SCHAEFFER VIDEOS TO BE RELEASED IN COOPERATION WITH L'ABRI AND SOUNDWORD ASSOCIATES

Schaeffer Apologetics Video Snapshot
AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

In mid-August, we were able to acquire through public vendors a VHS copy of a 1983 lecture by Francis Schaeffer on Apologetics. Finding this rare tape was quite a find in itself, however after some further inquiries, we were surprised to discover more than we bargained for.

After finding this publicly available, out-of-stock video, my partner Jason Schaitel, inquired further with the company who produced the video to see if we might be able to digitize the video and make it available on line. The company, Sound Word, may be known to some of you, as they still do audio conference recording for L'Abri. You can find a list of currently available audio recordings here.

Sound Word, not only was willing to allow us to handle the Apologetics video for these purposes, but was also willing to offer a total of 11 master copies of video (9 segments) from conferences in 1983 and 1984. These historic lectures are of Schaeffer in his final two years of life on some very significant topics. They also include footage from Edith Schaeffer and Susan Macaulay (their daughter) as well.

We are thankful and honored to have been given permission by Sound Word and  L'Abri Fellowship to be entrusted with the task of digitizing and making these videos available to the public. Accordingly, francisschaefferstudies.org has purchased the masters and will digitize, edit, and produce them beginning in just a few weeks. We will then begin releasing them this fall and winter and throughout 2014, which will be thirty years after Dr. Schaeffer's passing. We cannot help but think this is a bit of Providence at work.

The following is a list of the contents of the videos we will be working on. The information provide is subject to change depending on the actual contents of the tapes. We will provide more information as it becomes available:

L'Abri Conference, Atlanta 1983

  1. Introduction to L'Abri - Dr. Schaeffer and Susan Macaulay (daughter)
  2. Names and Issues - Dr Schaeffer
  3. Who Is For Peace? - Dr. Schaeffer
  4. It is Your Life Involved - Dr. Schaeffer
  5. Common Sense Living (Nehemiah) - Edith Schaeffer
  6. Apologetics - Dr. Schaeffer

L'Abri Conference, Knoxville 1984
(All videos are labeled E & F Schaeffer)

  1. Introduction to L'Abri (Various)
  1. Discussion on The Great Evangelical Disaster (Book) - Part 1
  2. Discussion on The Great Evangelical Disaster (Book) - Part 2
  3. Conference Discussions / Dr. Schaeffer's Last Address - Part 1
  4. Conference Discussions / Dr. Schaeffer's Last Address - Part2

Watch for updates and follow the releases as we make them available.

Providence!
Dan

Updates:

  1. Promo Video Released
  2. FIRST SOUNDWORD L'ABRI VIDEO RELEASED!! - THE QUESTION OF APOLOGETICS
  3. SOUDWORD SCHAEFFER VIDEO PROGRESS
  4. COMMON SENSE CULTURAL REFORMATION
  5. 5 IDEAS - AN INTRODUCTION TO LABRI - DICK KEYES - 1984 SOUNDWORD LABRI CONFERENCE VIDEO

Friday, July 5, 2013

PHOTO ACQUISITION: 1979 SCHAEFFER PRESS PHOTO

We are pleased to announce that we have been blessed to acquired another press photo of Francis Schaeffer. Our previous acquisition, from the 1982 Congress on the Bible was a wonderful find. We are equally excited about this particular rare press photo from 1979.

In the photo on the left, Francis Schaeffer is show seated in discussion with his hand outstretched, wearing a turtleneck shirt, sporting his trademark chin-beard. 

Our research thus far has not been able to determine the exact promotion for which this photo was used, however from the dating on the back of the photo, stating that it was used during 1979, it can likely be placed in promotions related to the book and film release of Whatever Happened to the Human Race? However, there is reason to allow for the possibility that the photo may have been taken up to a few years prior. The photo, containing brick walls in the background, and Schaeffer in a turtleneck, could potentially have been a shot taken while Schaeffer was on location on the earlier film How Should We Then Live? and used later promotion-ally. Many of his location shots on that film show him wearing a turtle neck shirt and jacket. However, this is not to say that he never wore one again! 

Either way, to understand 1979, it is important to grasp the prior year. 1978, was a significant year in the shaping of the latter years of Schaeffer's life. Early in the year, work on the script for Whatever Happened to the Human Race? was ready and Edith had finished perhaps her most significant work, perhaps second only to L'Abri, called Affliction. It was to be released in August and contained a substantial message on the subject of suffering.  Yet, as if on cue, various trials would beset the Schaeffers requiring them to live out in greater depth the principles in that book. Just as the book was to be released and filming on Whatever Happened to the Human Race? was all set to commence, Edith would have to have an operation to remove an ovarian cyst. She remarks in her family letters the following:
 Is there an element to Satan's attack in here, of having to make a "barb" concerning what I have said in Affliction, and of trying to make the beginning work on the film harder for Fran? Perhaps, but there is also the promised "sufficient grace," and His strength made perfect in weakness so that counter-victory is not just a vague possibility but something we are given to expect. The doctor says I will be needing to be eight days in the hospital, and then will need three more weeks of rest! - April 13 Letter, Dear Family, pg. 287.
Nevertheless, filming did commence and continued on through October. The film crew, Dr. Schaeffer and Dr. Koop filmed in the United States, Israel, Austria, and finally Switzerland. They had been scheduled to film in Greece, but due to cancellation of permission by the government, they were actually a week ahead of schedule. Toward the end of filming in Israel, Francis had expressed to Edith that his fatigue was growing hard to deal with. They both thought that it was due to the extensive travel and pressures of filming. Upon returning home to Switzerland to film the rest of the forth and fifth episodes in their chalet, the work was still weary for Francis and one of the workers had commented to family that his jackets were too big, yet others noted that they were the same ones he had worn. One evening, on his way down to the next shot Francis stopped and weighed himself and realized that he had lost twenty-five pounds. An earlier consultation with his doctor that week had revealed that he likewise had an enlarged spleen. Thereafter, it was suggested to Edith that she look up the doctor at the Mayo Clinic Francis had been providentially corresponding with about Francis' books The God Who Is There and Escape from Reason. She was surprised to be able to contact him that same night, and his remarks to her were:
Come as soon as possible. Finish up the film, if it's only a couple of days, then come next week. I'll meet your plane. ~ Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry, pg. 609.
Edith comments in the Tapestry that when remaining mountain shots were needed, "As Fran walked up the hill, he puffed, not his usual way of walking." We know from those who have commented on Schaeffer's walking, such as Dr. Calhoun, despite his smaller frame and stature, Schaeffer generally walked rather fast and effortlessly. Yet not this time. Nevertheless, in spite of the physical problems of the moment, Schaeffer knew that the completing of this film was a like reaching a peak. Edith further remarks,
For Fran, a job had been completed, and the future history of his own life was a question mark. What would be found in the complete examination in Mayo Clinic? His verbalization at that time consisted mostly of, "well, whatever happens, I've finished this job anyway."~ Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry, pg. 610.
At the Mayo Clinic on October, 17 1978, the diagnosis finally came, explaining that Francis had lymphoma and that he had a large mass the size of a watermelon in the back of his intestines. Edith writes in her letters several meaningful observations from the time that shows their state of mind and the truth they were seeking in the midst of the earthly situation:
We need to realize that there is danger in wasting precious time in simply agonizing, rather than using well our opportunity to feel and see things in a perspective closer to heaven's perspective. ~ Edith Schaeffer, November 12 Letter, Dear Family, pg. 293.
We are to live on the edge of time with today as the day Jesus might come back, but with today;s creativity and care for each other as urgently important as it would be if we knew we had a long time to prepare for right here. ~ Edith Schaeffer, November 12 Letter, Dear Family, pg. 295.
Providentially, Edith had a section of scripture placed upon her heart for Fran, Psalm 71:17-20. It became for them the fulfilled promise for the next year.
    O God, from my youth you have taught me,
        and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
    So even to old age and gray hairs,
        O God, do not forsake me,
    until I proclaim your might to another generation,
        your power to all those to come.
    Your righteousness, O God,
        reaches the high heavens.
    You who have done great things,
        O God, who is like you?
    You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
        will revive me again;
    from the depths of the earth
        you will bring me up again.
(Psalm 71:17-20 ESV)
In answer to prayer, Francis would be quickened again to proclaim God's power to the generation. After the various treatments at the Mayo Clinic, Francis' cancer would go into remission for a time and Fran was discharged. The time at Rochester had however not been at all unprofitable either. Schaeffer spoke many times while he was there and in fact the seeds were planted for a future L'Abri Conference (and eventually a L'Abri branch). It seemed that God was expanding L'Abri to the states. As also during this time God was already working miraculously in the formation of a L'Abri in Scarborough, Massachusetts to be headed up by L'Abri workers Dick and Mardi Keyes (watch our interview with Dick Keyes here). Edith comments on Schaeffer's convictions after his recovery:
When Fran was asked to say something for the radio concerning this news, he felt strongly the need to point out that it is not a demonstration of greater faith when an answer like this comes. Many whose faith is just as great as ours who have been praying for this "longer time to make Your Truth known to this generation" for Fran, have been praying for someone just as precious in the sight of the Lord, just as dear a child of His, and have been praying with as great or greater measure of faith. ~ Edith Schaeffer, November 12 Letter, Dear Family, pg. 303.
In fact several friends of theirs were suffering with such illness during this time, and it was not uncommon for Schaeffer to be calling to encourage them while he himself was undergoing treatments. 

Consequently, Francis Schaeffer did not take the opportunity for granted and wasted no time in "continuing the proclamation" and soon thereafter embarked on a 20 city seminar tour promoting the book and film in 1979. Upon returning back to Rochester at their completion, they would meet with the newly formed L'Abri Conference Committee to plan the first L'Abri conference in Rochester and then return home to Switzerland.

Looking at the photo, one has to reflect on Schaeffer's intense desire to communicate on the matters of importance of life to our culture. He is intent on making a significant impact and accomplishing the calling to which he has been directed. It is up to that generation and ours to consider the proclamation given and either reject it at our peril or receive it to our edification. Listen to these words from the closing work on the film,
As Fran walked up the hill, he puffed, not his usual way of walking. But the words were clear and important. "Each man, woman and child is of great value.... We know our origin.... As I look at myself in the flow of space-time reality, I see my origin in Adam and Eve, the parents of the whole human race--and in God's creating man in His own image. At this point, words such as sanctity of life, justice, fulfillment, truth, beauty and love begin to make real sense again." ~ Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry, pg. 610.