How Should We Then Live? Francis Schaeffer

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How Should We Then Live?


Francis Schaeffer’s book How Should We Then Live? This is one of the modern classics of Christian thought. Schaeffer follows the development of Western thought and our various worldviews from the time of Roman civilization to modern times. He frames this development in the attempt of philosophers to explain our world starting with either absolutes or particulars. He gives dozens of examples of the various philosophic schools of thought playing out in art, music, and architecture.

The Reformation in Northern Europe found freedom for creation under the Bible and in its balance of universals and particulars found true freedom. The Renaissance in Southern Europe adopted the humanistic view with particulars only, and therefore had no basis for transcendent growth. As humanism began to infiltrate into the scientific thinking and philosophy of the 1700s and 1800s and on into today, people were faced with the problem of drawing absolute principles starting with particulars. This turned out to be impossible. Trying to come up with a unified, cohesive philosophy of life starting with human experience takes people nowhere.

As he closes the book, Schaeffer lists several pressures that are facing societies today which could push them to accept authoritarian rule instead of chaos. These pressures include: economic breakdown, war or serious threat of war, the chaos of violence including terrorism, the radical redistribution of the wealth of the world, a shortage of food or other natural resources in the world. As these pressures mount people will feel more compelled to give up freedom so that they can have some measure of peace and order. And as the Christian worldview base evaporates from societies in the West, people will have no basis to argue or think otherwise. A modern example played out in Germany when the people cried out for order from the economic collapse of the Weimar Republic and gave Hitler dictatorial power in their country. Not long after as the Germans rose in power under this dictatorship, Chamberlain signed over Czechoslovakia eventually losing most of Europe in World War II. They were hoping for “peace in our time.” What is the proper response? Do we succumb to the breakdown of society and imposed order, or do we as Christians affirm the Christian base that provided the freedoms upon which our nation was originally founded? This can only happen if individual people discover that Christian base in their own lives and then act to influence the consensus. “Such Christians do not need to be a majority in order for this influence on society to occur.” Christians were not in the majority when they changed the entire Western civilization.

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Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7

Posters like Allen Saalberg's strengthened Ame...

If we forget where we have come from we won’t know who we are. Pearl Harbor Day unfortunately is an important day in our history. WallBuilders Broadcast. It has fallen into obscurity in the last 70 years. This is another example of our left leaning media and higher education establishment pointing Americans away from our true history.

December 7, 1941 was very much like September 11, 2001. The United States was attacked without warning by a foreign adversary. Both heinous attacks provoked us to openly enter a war. The attack on Pearl Harbor day provoked our entrance into and justification for our actions in World War II. The attack was committed by the military forces of Japan against our military forces in Hawaii. The terrorist attacks of September 11 were committed by terrorists against civilians. While our war on terror (in fact, no war, ever) has resulted in some collateral damage against civilian people and sites, our overall war effort has been our official military forces against the rather unofficial insurgent, terrorist forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other terrorist-friendly places.

A couple of historical notes that might be of interest today:
September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

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The Barbary Coast war in the Marine Corps hymn we hear the words from the halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli. The Shores of Tripoli referred to our first war after our war for Independence. North African Muslims were attacking American ships at sea, taking Americans hostage, and then charging ransom for American citizens to be returned, usually in very poor condition from their treatment. In other words that war in the early 1800s was a war on terrorism. Here is a link to the WallBuilders Live! presentation that discusses this point. It has been packaged for sale since I first heard it back in 2007.

Just as the liberal media distractors have pulled our attention and favor away from our war on terror, liberal edu-crats have all but silenced the education of our young people on World War II. Watch this video where Ray Comfort asks young adults questions about Hitler. Many of them seem to have no idea who he was and what brutality he led in Europe during World War II.

Let us not forget our heroes, our fallen, or our past on Pearl Harbor Day.