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!