An Outstanding Synthesis of The Thought and Ministry of the Schaeffer’s
Book Review by David P. Craig
It is immediately obvious that the author knew the Schaeffer’s personally and studied their writings with passion in the pursuit of truth. The first part of this book (Chapters 1-11) is a very good summary of the life and ministry of the Schaeffer’s. In Chapters 12-25 Parkhurst gives an excellent summary of the thought and teachings of Francis Schaeffer. My favorite part of this book was how he wraps it up by giving 10 Lessons From Their Lives. He expounds upon the following 10 Lessons gleaned from Francis and Edith:
(1) Teach the truth in love – Ephesians 4:5-16.
(2) There is Only One Reason to be a Christian – because it’s objectively true – 1 John 5:19-20. “There is one and only one reason, and not two reasons, to be a Christian, and that is because Christianity is true.” ~ Edith Schaeffer quoting her husband.
(3) The Bible is True in All that it Affirms – 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
(4) Go First to Establish a Bible-belieivng Church and Second a Denominational Church – Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 2:38-40. The priority of a biblical church is to daily “Serve God and others, let us Know, Love, and Follow Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, in the power of the Holy Spirit according to the Scriptures.”
(5) A Church Without Discipline or the Ability to Discipline Ceases to be a Church – Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Timothy 5:19-20.
(6) God is Not Mechanical, but Personal. God is the Infinite/Personal God – John 17:1-3.
(7) No One Becomes a Christian Apart From the Work of the Holy Spirit – John 15:26-27; John 16:7-11; 1 John 5:6-12.
(8) Pray for the People of the Lord’s Choice to Come, Pray for Him to Keep Others Away. Pray for the Lord to Meet Your Needs Without Asking for Money – Matthew 9:36-38.
(9) If Your Choice is Between Perfection and Nothing, You Will Always Have Nothing. Do Not Expect a Perfect Church, Pastor, Elder, People, Thing, or Situation in This Fallen World in Which We Live – Matthew 5:48.
(10) “God Calls Some to Leave (In Liberal Denominations), and Some to Stay, and I Am Not The Holy Spirit.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s account of the Schaeffer’s, and his distillation of their teaching and how they modeled their teaching through their ministry in Switzerland, and in the United States. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to better understand the gospel, how to use apologetics in pre-evangelism, and how prayer and life-style evangelism are essentials in reaching people in the 21st Century. The Schaeffer’s are just as relevant today as when they lived in the mid to late 20th century.