Tuesday, May 12, 2009

25th anniversary of Schaeffer's death: interview

May 15th will be the 25th anniversary of the death of Francis Schaeffer. Justin Taylor, "An Interview with Os Guinness on the 25th Anniversary of Francis Schaeffer's Death" (Between Two Worlds, May 7, 2009), interviews Os Guinness. Excerpts:
I had the privilege of living with Francis and Edith Schaeffer for three years in their home, so I came to know them both very well. To be honest, I adored Edith and have never met a woman like her. I can’t say quite the same about Francis, and I have my differences with him. But I also owe the world to him, and he has influenced me profoundly even where I differ from him.... Schaeffer has influenced me more in an unspoken way. I often say simply that I have never met anyone with such a passion for God, combined with a passion for people, combined with a passion for truth. That is an extremely rare combination, and Schaeffer embodied it. It is also why so many of his scholarly critics completely miss the heart of who he was, and why his son’s recent portrayal of his father is such a travesty and an outrage.

... Of all his own books, Francis Schaeffer’s favorite was True Spirituality. It tells the story of his passionate, even desperate, search for reality in faith. But that was what was so great about him. There was no gap between his trust in God, his praying, his wrestling with issues, his lectures, his preaching, his love of the mountains, his sense of fun, his appreciation of beauty, and so on. With all his flaws, he was a very real man.

... At the same time, although he was a brilliant thinker, with an uncanny ability to connect the dots and see the significance of things, he was not a scholar and he relied too much on reading magazines rather than books.

... Many who cite his apologetic approach have a comically wooden understanding of how he approached people to win them to faith. I have yet to see the book that does justice to the sheer brilliance of his way of presenting the gospel.
[Hat tip to J.M.]

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