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

Monday, January 2, 2017


"Remember your leaders..." ~ Heb 13:7
This year will mark our 6th year of our work as a free and unaffiliated service to the Francis Schaeffer and L'Abri community. Our goal continues to be the desire to share the thought of Francis Schaeffer with the next generation and make his thought and teaching more accessible for general inquiry. At this time we would like to share some reflections on the work and thoughts on the future.

Over these very short six years, we have been blessed to be well received by many scholars and laypersons, and those generally mindful of Dr. Schaeffer's thought. Often, those who have been so kind as to compliment our work, are in fact are to us mentors in Dr. Schaeffer's thought, those who carry forward his thought in advances through their own ministry. We do not take this for granted and it is something that we deeply cherish. We strive to work in such a way that lets Dr. Schaeffer's thought speak for itself and try not to get in the way or self promote. Our desire has been to "take the lesser place" and simply serve in whatever way God might allow. It has been amazing to watch as various avenues have opened and even redirected before us. We are always working to provide a better service and to make advances through better technical and scholarly endeavors. This is our hope for the future.

We must say however, that sharing the thought of Francis Schaeffer has not always been as easy as just posting a quote or two from him on social media. A lot of time, planning and forethought regularly goes into the work that we are doing. The initial challenges come with respecting the legacy of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, their family, and their ministry, which continues through L'Abri Fellowship to this day. There are also various Schaeffer-related ministries, cross-denominational and cross-discipline dynamics which include various intramural debates to be mindful of. With every post, video, class and discussion, all of this needs to be considered, respected, and navigated with prayer and joy of service.

Yet, it should also be mentioned that one of the most challenging task is not so much the intramural navigation that must be done, but specifically the handicaps of the Evangelical Christian culture. One of the most common questions, which sometimes comes as an accusation, is why we would be talking about Francis Schaeffer and not exclusively Jesus. In academic and seminary circles, Godly leaders are regularly remembered through historical societies, institutes and centers, but for some in the broader general Evangelical Christian culture, this can seem quite foreign. We regularly face surprisingly questions, as to some, what we are doing might as well be akin to some kind of idolatry. This of course could not be further from the truth. For this reason, we regularly have to be careful to explain the purpose of our work. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a bit tiring when we encounter those who don't understand. Yet, thankfully, we are not without ample Biblical recourse. We did not just come up with this idea of ourselves. My first response when people make any such inquiry is to quote Scripture to them. The following is our guiding verse:
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)
When given in response, this can be a bit of a "shut down" verse as I have had people fall utterly silent when I quote it, as if they were thinking, "I didn't know that was in there!" We take very serious the question of idolatry, as no doubt, throughout Scripture and church history this has been a pitfall. Yet, on the other hand, we as a church cannot ignore the voices of those that God has given in our history to help us correct it's course. Francis Schaeffer is one of those very specific voices. So let it be clear, ultimately, we are doing this because Scripture commands it. Plain and simple. It should be understood that while there are many scholars and authors that we might appeal to from history, whom we might gather knowledge and encouragement from, Schaeffer's position is unique in that very few others speak to our current cultural position of living is a post-Christian culture with such relevance. Likewise, when one encounters those who are speaking effectively today in this context, very often they were heavily influenced by Dr. Schaeffer. We would never suggest that Dr. Schaeffer is the only voice or even the most superior voice, but rather we would say that he is a very worthwhile and important voice that God provided for our time who is still extremely relevant today.

A study of Dr. Schaeffer and his thought reveal that he is a solid truthful voice. His views of spirituality and culture alone are simply revolutionary and can thoroughly help us. Dr. Schaeffer was not about teaching something new, but rather he was about translating historical Christianity into the current cultural context in which we reside. We ourselves try to emulate this, as we have learned it from him. This is what made his teaching so revolutionary.  I regularly quote Dr. Little, as I think he sums it up better than I have heard anyone else say it.
Schaeffer is not an icon to be venerated, but a Christian scholar evangelist of exceptional cloth from whom we can learn much in or passion to reach the nations for Christ. ~ Dr. Bruce A Little, Custodian of the Francis Schaeffer Collection at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
As a church we need to consider the effects of our culture upon us. Our culture teaches us to always seek something new and that those things which are old are outdated and not worth our consideration. It also conditions us to think that thought is arbitrary and disposable and relative. When we adopt such concepts we diverge from not only Scripture and it's doctrinal heritage, but we also marginalize the historical voices God has given to aid us in our own time and in previous generations. We need to remember that we forget the voices of the past at our own peril. I pray we not only hear Schaeffer, but hear the call to true spirituality, cultural revival and reformation that he speaks of. Now is the time to embrace True-truth and provide loving confrontation to our culture.

As we continue on in this journey, of sharing Francis Schaeffer's thought, please hold us up in your prayers. Pray for wisdom and integrity and technical excellence. Pray that we would be true to Christ above all else. May we all consider the outcome of Dr. Schaeffer's way of life and imitate his faith only when it conforms truthfully with Scripture. May we do this not for Dr. Schaeffer's sake, but for Christ alone. Understand that Dr. Schaeffer's thought is only as valuable in as much as he might be of service to us in advancing the kingdom of Christ in our hearts, minds and total culture, as we await the perfect completion which shall only be fulfilled upon Christ return.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Francis Schaeffer Studies has started the release of the audio recordings of the 1971 lectures of Dr. Schaeffer speaking on his book  He is There and He is Not Silent  you can listen to them and download them for free as they become available here.  Follow along with us on social media for updates on their release!

Here is our interview with Dr. Williams about his recordings:

Thank you for allowing us to digitize your recordings of the 1971 lectures of Dr. Schaeffer on  He is There and He is Not Silent, Dr. Williams. Can you describe the event where the lectures were recorded?

It was a L’Abri Conference up in the clouds at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain near Chattannooga, TN.

How old were you when they were recording. Were you a student? 

It was spring semester of my sophomore year of college.  I was twenty.  I skipped a week of classes at Taylor University to attend, as Covenant’s spring break did not coincide with ours.  Skipping those classes was the best educational decision I ever made.

I had just changed from Music to English as my major, planning to take Greek for my language requirement and use it as a pre-seminary degree.  Schaeffer certainly helped to get that plan off on the right foot.  I had started reading his books in high school and had read everything he had written up to that point. C. S. Lewis had showed me that the life of a Christian intellectual was possible.  The God Who is There and Escape from Reason showed me what it ought to look like in the late 20th century.  This was my first chance to hear Schaeffer in person.  

What other well-known speakers were at the event?

Mrs. Schaeffer, Hans Rookmaaker, Os Guinness, and Udo Middlemann are the ones I remember, though there may have been a couple others like Dick Keyes as well.  They were all good, but the one that impressed me most after Schaeffer himself was Udo speaking on Julien Benda’s book The Treason of the Intellectuals.  I got some tapes of Os and Udo too.  There wasn’t much point in taping Rookmaaker if you couldn’t get the slides!

These lecture recordings of Dr. Schaeffer speaking on He is There and He is Not Silent are your personal recordings.  Can you describe how the lectures were recorded?

There used to be a technology called “cassette tapes.”  I used a personal recorder a little smaller than a shoebox with a hand-held mike.  The tape in the cassettes was guaranteed to snarl eventually, so after a few years just about anything could be lost.  It is nothing less than a miracle that Dan Guinn and company were able to get anything useful off of these!  Their preservation for posterity is a great service to the kingdom.

Did you talk with Dr. Schaeffer during this event? If so, what was that like?
In those days, Schaeffer would continue discussions into the wee hours of the morning, so if you held out long enough you would be in a small-group discussion with him.  I did, of course.  I remember asking, “You’ve said repeatedly that ‘There is nothing Platonic in the Bible.’  But what about the book of Hebrews, where you have the temple in the heavens contrasted with the man-made temple on earth?  That sounds a lot like one of Plato’s forms to me.”  He gave a technical answer about the difference which I was not yet ready to appreciate, but which I pretended to understand.

My favorite memory of talking with Schaeffer came two years later at the next conference, though.  In 1971, I had been in some pretty small groups with him, but never one on one.  In 1973, we both got to Covenant early when no one much else was around yet.  Schaeffer walked over to me and struck up a conversation while I was still working up the nerve to approach him.

Astoundingly, he remembered me from two years previous.  How many hundreds of people had he spoken to in the mean time?  He managed to convey that he was the one honored by my presence!  I am convinced he sincerely felt it so.  And in that, I was granted a gentle and completely unintentional rebuke, a realization of how far I still was from the greatness to which I aspired. 

These recordings are dated prior to the release of He is There and He is Not Silent, and they are perhaps the most intense we have heard from Dr. Schaeffer.  What was your impression of him speaking and when you finally read the book that paralleled the lectures, what was your impression?

Schaeffer’s books were made by transcribing and then editing his lectures.  He would develop a lecture or a series of lectures and give them over and over in many places (or to different groups coming through L’Abri), deal with the questions that came up, and thus strengthen them over time.  Eventually then a typescript would be produced, and from that the book version would be edited.  These are the lectures that were the source of He is There and He is Not Silent.

I did not realize until I bought the book how much better the live lectures are.  The books are great. The God Who is There and Escape from Reason had revolutionized my whole approach to thinking as a Christian.  But I found He is There and He is Not Silent disappointing after hearing the lectures live.  I realized later that this reaction was a bit unfair. It’s still a good book, but it is a poor substitute for actually being there!  Not only are some interesting asides lost, but it is just not possible fully to capture on the page the full personality, the intellectual and spiritual passion behind the ideas.  I’m so glad that some of that has been recaptured here.

What is the significance of  He is There and He is Not Silent?

It completes the argument of  The God Who is There.  How is it that we can claim we know God?  Only if He exists and has revealed Himself to us can we make such a claim validly.  Not only that, but unless these two conditions are met, we cannot really claim to know true truth about anything in His world.  So what are the good and sufficient reasons for believing that God has spoken, that He is not silent about ultimate meaning and values?  That is what this book tries to give.  It pulls together threads from The God Who is There and Escape from Reason and tries to tie them into a single, beautiful bow.

Are these lectures still important? What can we learn from them today?

They are better than the book.  That ought to be recommendation enough!  But let me close with an anecdote.  Above, I mentioned that the heard lectures give us a greater access to Schaeffer’s spiritual and intellectual passion.  Well, my best friend, David Stott Gordon, was present, having driven up to meet us from the University of Georgia.  He was a Geek among Geeks, a true disciple of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock.  He evaluated everything in the most unemotional and rigorous, analytical manner possible.  He would challenge anything, even if he agreed with it! After the lecture on the answer to the epistemological problem, there were tears streaming down his face, and I had no need to ask him why.  I think there were a few on my own as well.  Listen to this series, and maybe you will see why too.

Donald T. Williams, PhD, is the R. A. Forrest Scholar, Toccoa Falls College and
President, International Society of Christian Apologetics, and a Resource Scholar for

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Francis Schaeffer Studies has now made several trips to St. Louis visiting the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Seminary. The first trip took place in May, 2015 and the second in June. You can see some pictures from the first trip here.

Schaeffer's "Summer Bible School"
St Louis Globe Democrat
July 23rd 1944
(Click the link, then click
on the image to zoom)
Part 1 - 1944 Schaeffer's Summer Bible School Newspaper Write-up

While we were in St. Louis, we had a wonderful opportunity to connect with two of Dr. Schaeffer's students from his early days as a pastor in St. Louis prior to the formation of L'Abri in Switzerland. One of these students of the Summer Bible School, Barbara Sprick, mentioned on the phone that she had a "newspaper clipping" to show us. Providentially, we had been able to meet with Mark Ryan, Director of the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Seminary, who informed us that he had been contacted by Barbara and that he had vouched for us (Thanks Mark!). So we were excited to meet her for an interview and to see this clipping. Well, as it turned out, it was not just a clipping! It was a full page write-up!
Not only that, she had a collection of photos of the students over multiple years and a brochure with an original photo taken by her father! We'll share more on these a little later. However, what further surprised us, is that she not only showed them to us, but she wanted us to have them! We are honored and blessed to receive these wonderful glimpses of Schaeffer history into the FSS collection. He hope that they will be a valuable resource for others in their studies in future!

The full-page write up provides a wonderful glimpse of Dr. Schaeffer's early ministry. One thing you will note upon viewing is that this activity was in cooperation with the school district who even provided buses. My how far we have come!

According to Wayne Sparkman at the PCA Archives, young Francis Schaeffer, had first utilized this new concept of "Summer Bible School" (what we would now call Vacation Bible School) in his first church in Grove City, Pennsylvania, with much success and had finally wrote to Dr. A. L. Lathem who had founded the idea. Francis would eventually become a member of his Board of Directors of the Summer Bible School Association which grew his relationship with it's elder founder. Dr. Lathem was the senior pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church in Chester, 50 miles way from Grove City, and eventually Francis would receive an offer to work with Dr. Lathem as an assistant pastor. While Francis did well at the position, he was largely tasked with overseeing a building project, rather than working more directly with the children's ministry he had come to love and see as a calling. With another building project on the horizon, Francis and Edith realized the need to accept a new pastorate in the pursuit of their calling. They would assume the pastorate of the First Bible Presbyterian Church in St. Louis from John W. Sanderson Jr. Their ministry flourished through the founding of the first Summer Bible School program in St. Louis, which later led to the founding of Children for Christ. Here is a thought from Edith on the development:
This was the beginning of our work with young people that later grew into L'Abri, even as the Bible School was our beginning work with children that was going to include our "Children for Christ" work later. Many seeds were planted in Grove City. ~ Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry
It is wonderful to think that a man who is often known to be one of the greatest Evangelical intellectuals of the past generation, was also a deeply gifted communicator to children. Dr. Schaeffer's tenderness, excitement, emotion and thoughtfulness must have resonated well with them. Something for us all to deeply consider.

~ Dan Guinn

Watch for our next article in this series and also an upcoming mini-documentary!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015


In April, while presenting a workshop at the 2015 International Society of Christian Apologetics Conference in North Carolina, I spent some time in the home of Pastor Adam Johnson, whose family showed me great hospitality and warmth during my stay. Adam is a friend and fellow researcher of Dr. Schaeffer's works. After many talks, I asked Adam if he would share with us his experience researching at the Francis Schaeffer Collection at SEBTS, and the journey of life that led him there. I am sure you will find it edifying! Watch for more from Adam in the future! ~ Dan Guinn, FSS

Adam Johnson
I’m a PhD student studying Philosophy of Religion under Dr. Bruce Little at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.  I also serve as an Associate Pastor at Tega Cay Baptist Church.  My church allowed me to take a four week sabbatical in December 2014 in order to help Dr. Little research the Francis Schaeffer Collection at Southeastern.  Not only was it a terrific academic opportunity, it was also a spiritual experience for me.

Francis Schaeffer’s books played a huge role in my spiritual development.  I became a Christian in 1994 around the age of 17 but in my twenties I went through a terrible spiritual crisis.  I was struggling with questions and doubts about whether or not Christianity was true.  It’s difficult to explain the emotional stress and anxiety I felt during that ordeal; trust me when I say that I was nearly at my wit’s end!  As I see it now, there was some incorrect theology in my background which led me to wrong conclusions about what faith is, how sovereignty worked, and the role of apologetics.  For instance, I thought it would be ungodly and unbiblical to use apologetics to try and strengthen my faith.  Thankfully someone gave me a copy of Schaeffer’s Trilogy – The God Who Is There, Escape From Reason, and He Is There and He Is Not Silent.  Needless to say, it changed my life.  Through his books, Schaeffer helped me come to, as I see it today, the correct understanding of faith and reason, sovereignty, and apologetics. 

As I worked through my own struggles and conquered my major doubts, I began talking openly about my struggles.  I found that many others were also struggling with doubts too and God began using me to help them work through their questions.  I had always aspired to serve in ministry but had recoiled back because of guilt over my struggle with doubt.  Having overcome this struggle, I decided to follow God’s leading and leave my career in Actuarial Science to pursue whatever ministry He would call me to.  I completed my M.Div. in 2013 and immediately started on my Ph.D. at Southeastern.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Udo and Deborah Middelmann had entrusted Southeastern to hold in custodianship the Francis Schaeffer Collection.  The Collection includes vast amounts of Schaeffer’s personal correspondence, his early drafts and manuscripts, books and articles he annotated, his seminary notes from the 1930’s, as well as numerous audio and video items.  Needless to say, this is a literal treasure trove!  You can read more about the Collection here.

In the rest of this article I’ll summarize my experience researching the Collection.  First of all, access to the Collection requires the approval of Dr. Little who serves as its Director.  After I was approved, archivists in Southeastern’s library (Dr. Bill Youngmark and Steve Jones) helped me find my way through all the material.  The research is made much easier by the finding aid they’ve created.  This finding aid is simply a massive spreadsheet that is 50,000 rows long.  It lists all the paper material (letters, notes, articles, books, etc.) in the Collection but not the audio and video items.  Each row represents a different item in the Collection and some items are several hundred pages long.  For example, Schaeffer took 108 pages of handwritten notes in his Apologetics class at Westminister and this item is described in one line of the finding aid spreadsheet. 

Thus there are hundreds of thousands of pages of material in the Collection.  The finding aid also lists what physical box and folder each particular item can be found in.  Thankfully though, all of the paper material has been digitized (not all of the audio and video has been digitized yet).  So when I found something in the finding aid I wanted to look at, say a specific letter from Francis Schaeffer to Billy Graham, I could access a digitalized version of that item in just a few seconds.  I spent four weeks digging through the paper material.  I estimate that I looked at roughly 2,000 items but I specifically made detailed notes concerning 700 items that were pertinent to my research.  Through my research I came to have a much better understanding of Schaeffer’s epistemology and apologetic method.  I wrote a research paper for Dr. Little this spring about Schaeffer’s epistemology and Udo Middelmann gave me permission to quote from some items I found in the Collection.  I’m hoping the research I did will eventually roll up into my dissertation work.        

I’ve often described the time I spent researching the Collection as a spiritual experience because it was similar to reading the biography of someone who God had worked through in a mighty way.  I felt like I got to know Francis Schaeffer in a more intimate way as I read about his personal struggles, concerns, weariness, and victories.  I was inspired to see how God could use a normal human being in such a mighty way in so many people’s lives.  A lot of the personal letters are just about logistics—making arrangements for people coming to L’Abri, or plans for Francis and Edith to go and speak somewhere, etc.  But there were also many letters from those who were searching for truth and struggling through various spiritual issues.  It was humbling to read Schaeffer’s replies and how he poured out his heart to so many strangers.  You can really see his love and compassion for others in his letters.  Schaeffer continues to inspire me to serve Christ with everything I am.  

~ Adam Johnson

To learn more about the Francis A. Schaeffer Collection at SEBTS you can watch videos from our playlist documenting the collection, including our documentary filmed in 2012:

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Every once in a while you see that God has answered a prayer so perfectly that you are utterly amazed and truly thankful. Such is the case with the new addition to our team, Paul Reynolds.

In this, our fifth year, we are more busy than we have ever been before. So, it has been the subject of many prayers to add a like-minded student of Francis Schaeffer to our work. Paul Reynolds is that guy. Paul is a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and an Associate Pastor of New Hope Presbyterian Church in Olathe, KS.

Paul brings with him a background of study and interest in Francis Schaeffer, and a knowledge of his importance. He asserts that he is not an expert, but a simple conversation shows he has a solid grasp of Schaeffer's thought. As a student at Covenant, he was involved in the student activities of the Francis Schaeffer Institute, and sat under many Schaeffer scholars such as Jerram Barrs, Mark Ryan (Director of the Francis Schaeffer Institute), and adjunct L'Abri teachers such as Dick Keyes. All of whom we highly respect and have learned much from over the years.

Perhaps Paul's most highly valued strength is his warmth, service and a humble depth of knowledge. Jason and myself already greatly appreciate our new friendship with Paul and are excited to see what Paul brings to the team.

Paul will first be assisting me (Dan) directly in various ways under the generic title of Operations Assistant, as we explore his specific gifts and strengths. His first projects will be related to editing various writing projects. 

Please join us in welcoming Paul to Francis Schaeffer Studies!

Dan Guinn


Saturday, January 24, 2015


During our time working on Francis Schaeffer Studies, we have explored the numerous biographies on Dr. Schaeffer. Sometimes people ask us, "What would you recommend?" We thought it would be a good to share with those of you who are interested in learning about Francis Schaeffer. So where to start?

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.

This work was chosen because of Mr. Parkhurst familiarity with the Schaeffers. The author describes what he is providing as a "biographical sketch," which may not be the depth that many may be looking for in understanding Dr. Schaeffer.  Yet, what one will find very endearing about the book is the personal relationship Parkhurst describes that he had with the Schaeffers and his descriptions of their spirituality. His brief anecdotal accounts are full of value.

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

In this work, we find important essays on Schaeffer's life and work. So although not a chronological biography, there is an ample amount of biographical information that helps form a rounded perspective on Schaeffer, from those who knew him.

#3 - Francis Schaeffer, A Mind and Heart for God, Edited by Bruce A. Little

At the number three spot there is this wonderful newer book that was a product of a conference on Dr. Schaeffer held in 2008 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is the home of the Francis Schaeffer Collection. Dr. Bruce A. Little is the custodian of the collection owned by The Francis Schaeffer Foundation. This book was chosen because it contains five lectures by L'Abri members and Family (Udo Middelmann, Jerram Barrs, Ranald Macaulay and Dick Keyes), who give a wonderfully insightful glimpse into Schaeffer's heart and thinking. 

#2 - Schaeffer, on the Christian Life: Countercultural Spirituality, William Edgar

The newest work on Schaeffer is from Bill Edgar, who explores with an objective eye, the compassionate nature of Schaeffer and his spirituality. It is well worth the read as it will truly edify you.

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
Perhaps still the most significant work on Dr. Schaeffer to date is by Colin Duriez, as it provides a very objective viewpoint and addresses many significant questions about the Schaeffer's life. Colin's ability to weave the many threads of Edith's work, and numerous other source materials, into a rounded historical context, with concise explanations of complex subject matters, makes it extremely valuable. Yet, it is a very down-to-earth account, that is easy to read and hard to put down. When I have picked it up for references, I sometimes found myself stuck in it for a while. This is probably because Colin's primary work is as a fantasy writer, with books on the likes of Tolkien and Lewis. Moreover, when it comes to the biographical account, Colin himself interviewed Dr. Schaeffer back in 1980, and is known by both L'Abri and the Schaeffer family.

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
Read Dr. Groothuis' review here.

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 we do!

Let us know what you think of these selections on out Facebooh Group!

Dan Guinn

Dan Guinn  


Sunday, January 4, 2015


Francis Schaeffer Studies is now four years old!

As we stop and reflect on the many developments over the years, we are thankful for all that God has done, and we are renewed in our vision for the future. This year will be a big year in many ways, as not only is it the start of our 5th year of work. Look for our new Yearbook Series, that looks back on the history of

This year will also be a big year as it marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Schaeffer's 1965 Wheaton Lectures, the lectures that started it all! If you aren't already aware, these lectures where the source materials for The God Who Is There, Dr. Schaeffer's first book. We know of several events that are being planned and we will keep you posted as they develop.

In addition to this, we will continue to work on our various projects as mentioned in the Fall, but also add a new Social Media structure to promote more engagement around Schaeffer's works (watch for information on this in the next few days and weeks).

Finally, setup on our FSS Studio is nearing completion which will allow us to move forward on more video work. With this, we are planning to launch a new Web Video Series called "Schaeffer FAQ" which will answer many of the Schaeffer Questions that we get asked quite often, with research information and sometimes even actual video from Dr. Schaeffer himself. You will want to be sure to catch these!

We know the fall work has been rather slow and we have not moved forward as quickly as we would have liked to have, but we are staying on course. We would appreciate your prayers as we continue this valuable work. Thank you for following along and for your prayers. Have a happy new year!


Friday, August 29, 2014


Fall is when the work of FrancisSchaefferStudies begins to pick up and we are still working through a huge back log of video, so I thought it would be good to give you an update of various projects and events that we will be working on to bring you up to date. Here is a list:

  • Soundword/L'Abri Conference Videos - We still have many more to release, but we are working through them!
  • FSS Fall Class - In just a few short weeks we will be starting a study on Art and the Bible, so watch for updates on this!
  • Schaeffer Scholars (.com/.org) - We are launching a new site that will highlight the story of Schaeffer scholars, starting with the most prominent from L'Abri. We will launch this in stages throughout the end of 2014 and through 2015, and beyond.
  •  Think It Through Conference, Oct. 17th - Dan will be speaking at the Think It Through Apologetics Conference in Manhattan, KS on "Why Every Apologist Needs to Read Francis Schaeffer." We are hoping to record this lecture.
  • St. Louis L'Abri Conference, Oct 18th - We hope to make it to St. Louis the next day, to cover the "To Walk Humbly with your God – True Spirituality in an Age of Counterfeits" conference.
  • Previous Class Video - We have a ton of class video footage that we will soon begin to release, from previous classes.
  • Scholar Sites - FSS is assisting some of our favorite Schaeffer scholars with some personal/ministry web sites! We are very excited about releasing these!
  • The FSS Studio - We have started work on an internal studio for video and production. This will allow us the means to create video more readily and produce much more valuable content. Watch for more information on this soon!
  • Phase 3 Redesign - will also be undergoing an upgrade to allow for new features. Watch for more on this as well!  
Thanks for following along with us on social media and your support with prayers. As you might know, we do all of these projects and work as a free service to the Francis Schaeffer community. We fund ourselves in these endeavors by doing additional technical work to support the needs of the projects. Your continued prayer is much appreciated! Again, watch for updates as we work through our fall schedule.

Dan Guinn       

Sunday, April 20, 2014


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:

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


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.