As many others before me, I was influenced early in my ministry by the books, audio messages, and video recordings of Francis Schaeffer. I never gave in to trying to grow his goatee or dress like him, but from time to time I probably tried to speak like him, as I was finding my own voice. That happens to preachers sometimes… they try to sound like their favorite preacher instead of being who they are – along with their particular gifts and graces.
I used to deeply study philosophy, worldview-thinking, ethics, theology, culture, and apologetics through seminary and well into the first half of my ministry. Francis Schaeffer helped me navigate much of that journey. He helped show me how those subjects were all connected and how understanding such things was essential for practical day-to-day life and ministry. More than that, his biblical, theological, and philosophical convictions compelled him to bear faithful Christian witness to the world in which he lived. In fact, he thought of himself, primarily, as an evangelist.
Reading Schaeffer’s works and learning more about him, his family, and his ministry also led me to discover others who have since impacted my thinking and ministry, such as Jerram Barrs, Os Guinness, and Dick Keyes.
Though I have never stopped studying those philosophical and theological disciplines previously mentioned, I have had something of a renewal of interest and focus on them over this last handful of years. Therefore, I thought I might share this post on Schaeffer that I put together shortly after the centennial celebration of Schaeffer’s birth. During that time, I read some great tributes to his life and ministry and thought that I would pass those along, as well as a few helpful websites and ministries that are carrying on Schaeffer’s work today.
I hope something you come across here will bless you.
A few articles about Schaeffer…
Remembering Francis Schaeffer by T.M. Moore (good list of links at the end of the article). In many ways Charles Colson and his various ministries (The Colson Center, BreakPoint, etc., are carrying on in the same spirit as Schaeffer.
100th Anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s Birth by Nathan Bingham at Ligonier Ministries
Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life (a review by Hunter Baker) at Gospel Coalition
Francis Schaeffer at 100 at Credo Magazine
Covenant Theological Seminary’s magazine issue on Schaeffer
The Need to Read Francis Schaeffer by Todd Kappelman at Probe Ministries
Francis Schaeffer and a World in Desperate Need by Lane Dennis at Crossway
Francis Schaeffer at Wheaton
Review: Duriez on Schaeffer by Donald Williams
How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 by Charles Colson
Here are some great websites/ministries serving in the “Schaeffer spirit”…
L’Abri Fellowship -This is the ministry that Schaeffer and his wife founded. It has greatly expanded and continues to do a wonderful job of ministering today. Check out their page on the history of L’Abri.
Francis A. Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary. Jerram Barrs is closely connected to this. Two of his courses, on the early and later years of Schaeffer, are available (for free!!!) at the Covenant website. And HERE
Francis Schaeffer Studies.org -a new website and ministry launched to celebrate the 100th birthday of Schaeffer. Lots of great resources available.
Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation – The Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation was incorporated in 1988 by Edith Schaeffer, Udo and Deborah Middelmann and several of their friends as a foundation of ideas.
The Francis Schaeffer Study Center – This is an awesome ministry to students. From their webpage… “The focus of the Study Center curriculum is on equipping high school students with basic biblical knowledge, an understanding of the Christian world-view and an integrated study of the literature, history, and art of western civilization.”
Other helpful resources…
And… what would a post on Schaeffer be without something from the man himself…