Friday, January 18, 2008

How Should We Then Live?

I had occasion last year to reread one of Francis Schaeffer's classic books, How Should We Then Live? In it, Schaeffer traces the history of Western philosophy (and its embodiment in the arts) up to the present. It includes, naturally enough, a sobering (but accurate) portrayal of modernity and of our present postmodern culture, both of which have lost the historical Christian worldview. (To paraphrase Pastor Ken last week paraphrasing Schaeffer, 'Whereas Christianity used to be the big dog in American culture, we followers of Jesus are now the fleas on the dog.')

Nonetheless, this book of Schaeffer's was one of hope. This hope was born of a certainty that the Christian worldview is the only rational one, the one that best explains reality, is most logically consistent, best promotes practical consequences, and alone provides meaning and purpose. His book, then, was (on one level) a somewhat dispassionate account of how this uniquely rational worldview has come to be lost (in the culture at large). In the concluding Note, he wrote,
Christians do not need to be in the majority to influence society
(that is, to bring to bear on society this forgotten worldview). Schaeffer’s life proved this, and served as a shining example of how clear worldview thinking and love of fellow humans can make a follower of Christ salt and light even in this postmodern generation.

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