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Founding Fathers: Francis Schaeffer
As one of "Founding Fathers" of modern Christian fundamenalist thought, is considered one of the last modern Christian Theologians (or, perhaps, the first "post-modern" Christian Theologians). From what I can tell from sampling his work (he wrote many books while living in self-imposed exhile in Switzerland after serving as a Presbyterian minister in St. Louis), I can find no violent or even plitical tendancies in his writings. But he was very concerned with the encroachment of Humanism vs. God, and many of today's Christian Reconstructionists and Dominionists point to him as a justification for their views and actions. He seems especially responsible for the modern Christian obsessions with "morals" and "values," something that - to them - cannot exist without God, the Bible, etc. The quote from Chapter 4 of "How Shall We Live" seems a convinient justification for art, creativity and God (something like: 'God must be the influence for all creativity, but if you don't belive in God and create Art, it doesn't matter, because God is in all creativity...').
"At its core...the Reformation was the removing of the humanistic distortions which had entered the church." (How Should We Then Live?, Ch. 4)
"So, as the Reformation returned to biblical teaching, it gained two riches at once: it had no particulars-versus-universals (or meaning) problem, and yet at the same time science and art were set free to operate upon the basis of that which God had set forth in Scr! ipture. The Christianity of the Reformation, therefore, stood in rich contrast to the basic weakness and final poverty of the humanism which existed in that day and the humanism which has existed since." (How Should We Then Live?, Ch. 4)
"It is important that the Bible sets forth true knowledge about mankind. The biblical teaching gives meaning to all particulars, but this is especially so in regard to that particular which is the most important to man, namely, the individual himself or herself. It gives a reason for the individual being great. The ironic fact here is that humanism, which began with Man's being central, eventually had no real meaning for people. On the other hand, if one begins with the Bible's position that a person is created by God and created in the image of God, there is a basis for that person's dignity. People, the Bible teaches, are made in the image of God -- they are nonprogrammed. Each is thus Man with dignity." (How Should We Then Live?, Ch. 4)
"It is not only Christians who can paint with beauty, nor for that matter only Christians who can love or who have creative stirrings. Even though the image is now contorted, people are made in the image of God. This is who people are, whether or not they know or acknowledge it. God is the great Creator, and part of the unique mannishness of man, as made in GodĚs image, is creativity. Thus, man as man paints, shows creativity in science and engineering, and so on. Such activity does not require a special impulse from God, and it does not mean that people are not alienated from God and do not need the work of Christ to return to God. It does mean that man as man, in contrast to non-man, is creative." (How Should We Then Live?, Ch. 4)
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© 2004 Joel Pelletier, joelp.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, web design: the Way Home media
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