If you are a member of our Francis Schaeffer Studies Facebook Group you might have noticed several repostings of Saturdays with Schaeffer over at Craig Hurst’s blog
I have been following Craig Hurst’s articles and book reviews over at www.SharperIron.org for several years now and have always admired his work, so I was super excited when I saw he started the Saturdays with Schaeffer series back in December 2012. Some of you may be glad to hear that Craig also runs a series called Fridays with the Fathers where he is blogging through Schaff’s 10 volume set of The Ante-Nicene Fathers.
I contacted Craig and asked if he would be open to partnering with Francis Schaeffer Studies and re-publishing his Saturdays with Schaeffer series through our media outlets on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. He responded positively to the idea and so we will start sharing his posts weekly. Currently Craig is in China with his wife picking up a little Chinese boy they are adopting and so Saturdays with Schaeffer is on hold for a few weeks, which gives me this opportunity to introduce everyone to Craig.
Before Craig left for China I interviewed him so that you all can learn about him and about the Saturdays with Schaeffer series.
Tell us about yourself. What is your background and education?
I grew up in a Christian home and made a profession of faith in Christ when I was 14. During high school I had the desire for full time ministry of some sort. I went to college at Clearwater Christian College where I met my wife. After college we moved to PA to begin my MA in Theology. I have four classes left to finish which I will complete online through the seminary. In the mean time I continue to educate myself in various ways.
Tell us about your family and where you live
I have a wife of almost 10 years and three children 7 and under. We are at the tail end of adopting a little boy from China. We began our marriage in FL, moved to PA and now live in Howard City, MI. I am a city boy at heart living in a town of less than 7 thousand people with farms all around me!
How long have you been reviewing books? How did you get started with that?
Honestly I began to review books so I could get them for free! I started a blog about three years ago but only seriously started reviewing books two years ago. Over the past three years I have been able to read and reviewed more books each year. Three years ago I read 26 books and reviewed maybe 15. Last year I read 76 books and reviewed almost 50 of them. This year my goal is to read 100 books and we’ll see how many I can review.
What are a few books that stick out in your mind as the best and most influential books on your life in the past five years?
In no particular order, here are several books that have greatly impacted me. First, Creation Regained by Albert Wolters introduced me to the creation, fall, redemption and consummation reading of Scripture and totally transformed my bigger understanding of the text. Second, God’s Glory in Judgment Through Salvation by James Hamilton because it gets as close to the center of biblical theology as you can. Third, Grounded in the Gospel by Packer & Parrett as it rightly tries to restore the educational ministry of the church through the catechism. Fourth, Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chapell because he shows how we are not only saved by grace but sanctified by it as well. Finally, A Christian Manifesto by none other than Francis Schaeffer because it in he so clearly shows how one cannot have a consistent and livable worldview and society without God.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
In no particular order I like the works of D.A. Carson, John Frame, John Calvin, Carl Trueman, Alvin Plantinga, Timothy Keller, Francis Schaeffer, John Lennox, Andreas Köstenberger , Howard Hendricks, and Mark Dever.
How did you come to encounter Schaeffer?
My first encounter was in my Western Civ. class in college. We were required to read his book How Should We Then Live? and it made a lasting impact on my thinking about cultural evaluation from a Christian perspective. The next time I picked up one of his books was about three years ago when I read A Christian Manifesto. Again I was struck by his clarity of thought and commitment to the historic Christian faith. He modeled presuppositional apologetics in the everyday areas of life, and that stuck with me.
Why did you decide to do Saturdays with Schaeffer and how did you decide that it would be his 5 volume Complete Works in one year?
Over the years I have heard some wise men say “pick a few good authors and read everything they have written”. About three years ago I picked up Schaeffer’s complete works in five volumes for about $50. Last year I finally decided to read the books but never got to it. After having looked back at all of the books I had read over the past three years I realized most of it was new and that I was lacking in the area of old books by dead guys <wink>. I counted all of the chapters there were to read and decided that I could get through them in a year if I read three a week. Having begun to read them I have realized that some of the chapters have so much good stuff that I have only read two chapters some weeks so it might take a little over a year.
What is it that you hope comes about as a result of Saturdays with Schaeffer? In your life... and in others’ lives?
I have several hopes in blogging through the books. First, I knew that writing about it would help the material make a further impact in my own life and sink in longer. Second, Schaeffer has been so influential to so many people today that I wanted to help to broaden his influence into the lives of people who might not read his books. Third, for those who have not read his books I hope that reading the summaries will spur them to pick them up and read them for themselves.
What are your plans for the future?
Right now I work from home for my dad’s business in Florida. I also serve in my local church through small groups and other opportunities. I want to finish my MA in Theology and then see where the Lord leads in terms of occupational ministry. My desire is to serve in pastoral and teaching roles in the church however that works out in God’s provision in my family’s life.
Thank you Craig, we are excited about what you are doing, and glad you are working with us at Francis Schaeffer Studies!
For those of you who are new to Francis Schaeffer Studies and want to know more about the project you can read here http://francisschaefferstudies.blogspot.com/p/what-is-francis-schaeffer-studies.html