Although I have read widely in the area of apologetics, I must confess that I have not read much by Francis Schaeffer. I finally had the opportunity to read one of his classics, The God Who is There.
I really did enjoy the book. Even though I’m much more of an evidentialist than a presuppositionalist, there is something attractive about the presupposotional apologetics that Schaeffer presents. Of course Schaeffer’s presuppositional apologetics was not as “pure” as his teacher Cornelius Van Til liked.
Schaeffer emphasizes the importance of dealing with the truth issue before talking about anything else. What is the nature of truth? If the seeker sees truth as something that can be decided for oneself, further conversation becomes problematic. Schaeffer encourages the Christian to “take the roof off,” that is to help the skeptic to see the logical conclusion of their worldview.
Schaeffer also speaks to the importance of God working in concrete ways in space and time. The incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are not symbols but events that took place in history.The incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are not symbols but events that took place in history. Click To Tweet
One of the things that I appreciate about Schaeffer, as intelligent as he was, is that his apologetics was never just theory. His apologetic method was developed in real conversations with people. Schaeffer, while not giving up on the truth aspect of evangelism, reminds readers about the importance of demonstrating love. Treating people with respect and care gives us the opportunity to speak into their lives. Schaeffer lived this out in his ministry.
Although The God Who is There was written in 1968 (the year I was born!), it is remarkably timeless. Some of the specific theological innovations that he was concerned about have changed, but the responses have not. If you have never read this book, I highly recommend you do.