Saturday, March 30, 2013

Edith Schaeffer, RIP

Edith Schaeffer, wife of the late Evangelical apologist Francis A. Schaeffer and co-founder of L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, died today (Holy Saturday) at the age of 98. A prolific author in her own right, she was also a beloved matriarch of L'Abri Fellowship and leader of various Bible study groups, as well as a conference speaker around the world.

During her last years, she had been cared for reportedly by her daughter Debbie and her son-in-law Udo Middelmann, in whose home I had the honor of spending a year between my sophomore and junior years of college long ago.

Together with her late husband Francis, Edith influenced many lives through L'Abri Fellowship, including those of Dr. Eduardo Echeverria and my own at Sacred Heart Major Seminary whose years at L'Abri nearly overlapped back in the 1970s.

Born in Wenzhou, China as the daughter of missionaries to China, like yours truly, she had an international vision of the task of the church in the world.

She will be buried in Rochester, MN, where, sometime later, a public memorial service will be held.

A message from the L'Abri Staff on the passing of Edith Schaeffer may be found HERE on The Aquila Report on the website of the Reformed Theological Seminary (March 30, 2013).

Her son, Franky A. Schaeffer has written "A Tribute to My Evangelical Leader Mom-- Edith Schaeffer RIP" (The Huffington Post [There's a backstory on that], March 30, 2013). Franky includes a bibliography of his mother's works.


JM said...

I never thought anything new by Franky would move me. I was wrong. For me any my generation, Edith Schaeffer was one among those "Last of the Giants." Godspeed to her soul.

Christopher said...

Franky Schaeffer:

"Mom's daily life was a rebuke and contradiction to people who see everything as black and white. Liberals and secularists alike who make smug disparaging declarations about 'all those evangelicals' would see their fondest prejudices founder upon the reality of my mother's compassion, cultural literacy and loving energy."

In recent years it's been hard to distinguish Franky from the "liberals and secularists" who disparage evangelical Christianity. But that was a touching tribute to his mother, and perhaps one day he'll come around with regards to his father as well.

RIP Edith.

Rex-Elliott Humrich said...

It's unbelievable that presumed "christians" can't omit the snarky comments about Frank (no longer Franky!) and leave him words of condolence and encouragement upon the passing of his Mother. If I were shopping for a compassionate religion, this one would go to the bottom of the list!

The Fourth Horseman said...

"Presumed christians"? "Snarky comments"? Puh-leeeze!

In view of the vitriolic screed Franky has dished out over the years in the grenades he has lobbed at his parents and the community that has nurtured and supported him, I would call these comments downright charitable.

If you want discerning condemnation and judgment, read the criticisms of titans of the Evangelical community, like Os Guinness, and others.

"Frank (no longer Franky!)"? I knew this boy when he was a spoiled brat with zits. Over the last three decades, he has had the temerity to carry on his education in public, first trading his parents' Evangelicalism for Eastern Orthodoxy, lambasting everything Evangelical in his book "Dancing Alone," then trading their political conservatism for "progressivism" that earned himself an ample place at the table at the Huffington Post, lambasting his father for rubbing elbows with the "religious right," to the applause of the self-congratulatory enlightened left. The boy has been perpetually in search of an identity, bitter, sardonic, pugnacious. It's small wonder that he can't stick with one spelling of his name. He doesn't know who he is.

"Snarky"? Oh, you haven't seen snarky yet. Just hang around. You might bump into one of your own comments one of these days, Rexy.