Published on November 2, 2023 by Eugene Ho

Crossway, 1984 | 191 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

by Steve West


About the Author

Francis Schaeffer was one of the most influential Christian apologists in Western history. He emphasized the importance of worldview thinking from a Christian perspective. Schaeffer called evangelicals to rigorous philosophical and theological thinking, as well as social and cultural engagement.


Table of Contents

1 What Really Matters?
2 Marking the Watershed
3 The Practice of Truth
4 Connotations and Compromise
5 Forms of the World Spirit
6 The Great Evangelical Disaster
7 Radicals for Truth
8 The Mark of the Christian




Chapter 1: What Really Matters?

The most radical and deadly change in the last sixty years has been the embracing of an absolute individual autonomy and freedom. This was not a freedom from injustice, but the attempt to gain freedom from all limitations whatsoever. Such an attempt to find complete autonomy is rebellion against God and leads to chaos in society. True freedom for individuals and society was embedded in the principles of the Reformation, and it cannot exist apart from a biblical worldview. If biblical freedom is not recovered, anarchy will be staved off only by an elite that forces people into the order that they wish to impose on society. As Christians, we should understand that we are engaged in spiritual warfare with the powers of darkness, but this battle takes place in human history and culture. We need to put on the whole armor of God, stand fast, and pray in the Spirit. The only weapon in our armor is the Word of God, and everything must be brought into conformity with its teaching.

Paul taught that people know the truth but suppress it in unrighteousness. As a result, even intelligent people are fools because they reject the truth of God. Without the knowledge of God put into practice, culture will be lost. In the Western world the truth of God, biblical doctrines, and Christian values have all been rejected to the point where society is now post-Christian. As in Romans 1, rejecting God and suppressing God’s truth leads to every manifestation of evil. One of the reasons why the church has been so impotent is that many did not stand with Machen against theological liberalism, and robust orthodoxy and confidence in Scripture were undermined. We need to proclaim the truth and put the truth into practice. There can be no compromise with the spirit of this age or with critical methods of Bible study which oppose the truth of God’s Word. People all around us are lost and hurting. The most important thing is to love God with all that we are and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We must demonstrably place ourselves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ to show the world their need for him. . . .

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Crossway, 1984 | 191 pages

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