Sunday, April 06, 2008

Not Expecting Francis Schaeffer to Get Such Harsh Criticism From Christianity Today

There seems to be a repentance from ever saying anything positive about Francis Schaeffer in the Article, Not Your Father's L'Abri. The article covers the changes in thinking at the L'Abri ministry and the drift of questions from those original visitors asked. Interesting, but why must American's view historical figures, recent or distant past, from the point of view that debunking them is the best way to understand them. We can debunk all history makers by talking about lack of depth in thinking in some area, leadership style, lack of vision, and legacy problems. These criticisms are true of all leaders except the Divine One. Schaeffer planted, someone else water, but God is giving the increase. Why not see Schaeffer's legacy as being a part of a tapestry, complex and beautiful, that God is building in his kingdom? Interpreting Schaeffer's legacy is of course something that is very difficult to do. He had good and bad, strengths and weaknesses. Did God work through him or was he simply a misguided man who let his success get the best of him? Creating a controversy is of course the best way to sell a story. When I got a lot of hits on a post I wrote on a controversial subject, I was tempted to run to writing more controversial postings to keep my traffic high. To use the word from the article, that would have been less than 'authentic' for me at least.

A young man who is a co-worker of my daughter. He recently graduated from the university with a degree in history. According to this young man, the history he learned is mostly a story of how western civilization has failed. His knowledge of history is largely how grievous errors were made, both morally and in techniques used to administer the disaster called the western civilization. While it is true, many errors have been made, this sort of debunking as a foundational way of dealing with history seems to have a less than humble and less than respectful attitude for those who can no longer defend their courses of actions, ideas and legacy. I would propose that we can learn from the legacy of others. Let's try it.
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