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 True Spirituality Class 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 The Question of Apologetics A Christian Manifesto - Playlist

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

EDITH SCHAEFFER : 1914 - 2013 - Ranald Macaulay

Photo by Sylvester Jacobs
Every generation produces individuals who seem larger than life. Like meteors they
blaze into life and become something of a wonder to those looking on. ‘What remarkable talents,’ we say, ‘what energy, what achievements’ This is what Edith Schaeffer was like and for 17 years Rochester was her home.

Like many coming to the Mayo Clinic the reasons for her arrival were hardly auspicious. Her husband, Francis, had just completed filming in Switzerland for his second major documentary series called, ‘Whatever Happened to the Human Race’. At the end of a gruelling day on the slopes near their alpine home, his dramatic weight loss over the previous week led Edith to telephone a medical friend at Mayo to seek advice. ‘Get him here as quickly as possible’ he said. So on the 9th October, 1978, Edith and Francis arrived in Rochester. Within hours he had been diagnosed with lymphoma and put on chemotherapy. It was to be the beginning, for Edith certainly, of a long association with the city and its people. Happily, Francis responded well to treatment and continued to be active and influential throughout the world for another seven years. By then Edith had moved their home from Switzerland to Rochester and it was there, on the 15th May 1984, that she heard his last quiet words… “from strength to strength” – taken from the sentence ‘they go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion’ in Psalm 84:7. Her days as the wife of one of the world’s most significant evangelical leaders in the 20th century had come to a close.

However, her surprise at finding herself living in Rochester was hardly her last! She
seemed to specialize in surprises in fact. The next one came within weeks of her
husband’s death and through what had been the major part of her life’s work, namely L’Abri Fellowship. She and her husband had founded this Christian work in Switzerland in 1955 and one of its half-dozen branches (now ten world-wide) had moved from California to Rochester to provide, amongst other things, practical support for them in their medical need. Not long after the funeral in Rochester came the new surprise - a Steinway grand-piano no less. This was a gift to L’Abri in memory of Francis Schaeffer and it held pride of place in her gracious living room. But the surprise contained yet another surprise and one which opened up a new chapter in her life. For what she quickly realized was that the actual piano involved, discovered not far from Rochester incidentally, had been manufactured the same year as her marriage – and came into her home the 6th July 1984, 49 years exactly after the very day she and Francis had their wedding - 6th July 1936! This piqued her already vibrant curiosity. So the next time she was in New York she arranged to call at the Steinway factory. Quite unexpectedly she found herself in the midst of a red-carpet-welcome and all because the company’s senior piano-voicer, Franz Mohr, had for many years been one of her avid readers and admirers.

The visit began a lasting friendship and even resulted in a new book called ‘ForeverMusic’. Amongst other things it was a paean to the wonder of God’s creation. It also provided her with a medium to express one of the leading characteristics of her life, namely her delight in anything and everything beautiful. She herself was a beautiful woman and always dressed impeccably. When she provided meals it became an occasion not just for good food but for a ‘work of art’ – hence the title of another of her books, ‘Hidden Art’. But ‘Forever Music’ also described how God works into our
individual lives – in this case via the biography and conversion of Franz Mohr himself. This in turn led to a concert with the Guaneri Quartet in Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Centre, NY, and to personal friendships with some of the world’s most illustrious musicians like Rudolf Serkin, Vladimir Horowitz and Yo Yo Mah.

Her ongoing life continued to be part of the ‘Rochester L’Abri’ for more than a decade and it enabled her to put her gifts of teaching, hospitality and creativity to good use. Many, for example, were the musical soirees in her living room around the Steinway. She spoke regularly at the annual Rochester L’Abri Conferences in February. But she also served as an international Trustee of L’Abri until 2001 making a grand total of 46 years within the life of the Fellowship. She also went on with her writing. Already she had completed nearly a dozen books, some of which, like ‘The L’Abri Story’, ‘The Tapestry’, and ‘Christianity is Jewish’ had sold almost as successfully as her husband’s – as they still do. The scope of her activities went well beyond Rochester, though, both within the United States and abroad. For example, she had been instrumental in the formation of the Francis Schaeffer Foundation based in New York and Switzerland and also in the Francis Schaeffer Institute in St. Louis, an adjunct of Covenant Theological Seminary. Her speaking itinerary was extensive.

Then followed another major surprise when she returned, now aged 80, to the very place in China where she had been born. Once again she found herself the subject of an official red-carpet welcome laid on, believe it or not, by the secular city dignitaries! The third and last of three daughters born to missionary parents, she was only five when they returned to the United States. Like all her memories, however, her recollections of China remained vivid and these she put into a children’s book bearing her Chinese name ‘Mei Fuh’.

For all her fizz and sparkle, however, and despite frequent displays of energy and
creativity, even in old age, which left her younger colleagues in L’Abri breathless, the
time came for her to return to her beloved Lac Leman in Switzerland. There she lived in a flat in a small lakeside village beside Vevey where she and her husband had spent many happy years. In due course she needed more care and one of her daughters, Mrs Debby Middelmann, with her husband, Udo, graciously provided a home in the mountains not far from where she and Francis had first founded L’Abri Fellowship in 1955. There, after a long decline in health, she died on the 29th March 2013 - aged 98.

It was a long and remarkable life – truly meteoric. But when all is said and done the best thing about Edith was who she was as a person: she never became big-headed because of her successes; she was always generous (even to a fault!); she consistently, and however inconveniently, treated all who came within her ambit with a gentleness and love both radiant and deeply genuine. In short, she was ‘real’ - a true Christian lady whose first desire was to glorify her Maker and Saviour. What she and her husband took as their life-long goal was to try to demonstrate and declare to all they met that the Bible really is true and that the Judaeo-Christian God is a kind and gracious Saviour to those who come to Him. She never swerved from that object. Nor, right until the day she died, did she ever flinch from the costliness of that call. She obeyed the apostolic summons to ‘present your body as a living sacrifice to Christ’ (Romans 12: 1). And now she is with Him. Hallelujah!

Written by Ranald Macaulay MA Cantab
(Son-in-law of Edith Schaeffer)
The Round Church, Cambridge.

Read also: FINALLY ENTRANCE TOGETHER INTO ETERNITY  - Edith Schaeffer (1914 - 2013)

Friday, April 19, 2013


As you may know, we launched the new francis schaeffer on the weekend of  April 14, 2013. The primary motivation for the change has to been to further advance our ministry focus. Our goal from the beginning has been to continue to be a resource for the study of the works of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. In order to do this we have realized that we needed a better user experience on our web site that would allow people to quickly research. Secondarily, we realized we needed to build a site that would support further expansion of the Schaeffer database and allow our research to grow.

Features: The new web site has many features designed to encourage easy access to the works of Francis and Edith Schaeffer.

Accordion Menu:

The new accordion menu allows various categories of links to be presented for easy navigation and a clean page appearance.

Feature Area:

The new landing page feature area allows you to follow the ongoing work of Francis Schaeffer Studies. This area will include blog post, single videos, video play list, special news and topical information.

Four features to choose from.

Selecting from videos in a playlist.
Book Carousel:

The new book carousel allows you to scroll through the works of Francis and Edith quickly with your "mouse wheel." Scrolling down spins the carousel to the left and allow you to look through the books quickly. Scrolling upwards will spin the carousel back to the left. You may also use the navigation slider at the bottom of the carousel to rotate the carousel.

Book Carousel, select carousel options from the left.
If you would like to see the current carousel listings as text, there is a toggle in the upper-right-hand corner. Clicking this option will drop a display of book title links. Clicking it again hides the text-version.

If you are browsing the carousel and you decide upon a book, you simply click on the book thumbnail and read more about it. If you are in text-mode you can click on the link you prefer.

New Book Pages & Book Page Features:  

Book pages are now more helpful. You will right away notice that when there are multiple book thumbnails in our database you will see them animate as a slide show. Under the book images, you will see new options that allow you to preview via Google Books, look up a book via WorldCat Library search, see general places you can buy the book and ways to interact with others socially.

On the right, you will find all of the general book information, including publisher information and items from FSS such as overviews and history (when available). Underneath the provided information, you will see that you can comment on each book with Facebook. If there is related L'Abri Ideas Library information for the book,  you will see a box indicating this. Below is an example:

Schaeffer Collections:
At the bottom of every page is a horizontal menu with links to the various Schaeffer collections that exist as well as other important links. Part of our service to the Schaeffer community is to promote these collections. Please take time to visit these sites during your studies.  

Schaeffer Collections menu.

 You will later find additional features on those books where we have produced related media content. Additionally, we are excited to finally begin adding book reviews from prominent scholars. So you will want to check back for these!

We hope that you will enjoy the new site and that it will become a valuable means of research for your studies of the works of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. 

Monday, April 8, 2013


Brandon Warren, Jason's mentor (left), Jason's brother, Jackie (right).
Jason and I were recently at the ISCA conference where I was presenting a paper on Schaeffer's perspective on the historicity of Adam. Yet much to our surprise, our hearts were tweaked by a powerful and significant story that seemed far more important than what we were doing at the given moment.

Jason was interested in sitting in on a workshop on St. Anselm, where a paper was being presented entitled "EPISTEMIC VIRTUE AND THE REASONING PROCESS IN ST. ANSELM OF CANTERBURY" written by a man named Jason Karch. However, we were surprised that the paper was actually to be read by his brother, Jackie, as he was not able to attend because he was serving a life sentence in Texas’ Darrington Penitentiary. Jason Karch is a freshman student at the Darrington Penitentiary Seminary, (privately funded by The Heart of Texas Foundation) which is an extension campus of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Upon exchanging cards with Jason Karch's mentor Brandon Warren, he informed me, "We love Schaeffer in the program." At that moment, I could think of very few more relevant and practical places for world-view training than in a prison! The program has already proven to be transformational as inmates perhaps more than any others can see their need, they have seen the results of a failed world-view and are responding to a call to minister.

What is the end-goal? Well, when they graduate, many of these students who are serving some very long sentences (even life) will travel to other prisons as missionaries! I was moved to tears watching the above video. God loves to use the most unlikely of places to display His glory and transformational power in the lives of people. It could be in unlikely places like high on a Swiss mountain, or in the heart of a prison turning convicts into clergy!

~ Providence!
Dan Guinn