30 January 2012

Francis Schaeffer, 1912–1984

I’ve just been alerted to the fact that today is the centenary of the birth of Francis Schaeffer, the American evangelical theologian and founder of the l’Abri Community. I never met him, but his books and the community he founded were a formative influence upon me when I became a Christian (over thirty years ago now). At a time when I might easily have lost myself in an anti-intellectual charismatic fundamentalism, Schaeffer’s writings and example convinced me that Christianity could hold its own in the academy. It was largely because of that influence that I returned to university to study theology and eventually became an academic theologian. An important part of his legacy for me is the conviction that Christian theology must engage in a critical dialogue with culture in which we find ourselves.

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