|The God Who Is There, 30th Anniversary Edition
By Francis Schaeffer / Inter-varsity Press
The God Who Is There was first published in 1968. Thirty years and 400,000 copies later, its still going strong. When Francis Schaeffer wrote The God Who Is There, his analysis of society shocked the evangelical community with its clarity and understanding. Today, his words seem prophetic, as postmodernism, and its inherent relativism, have taken hold of society with a relentless grip.
The God Who Is There is a full, deep, penetrating look at society and its relation to the church (and vice versa), but it can be summarized in five basic passions, according to author and editor James Sire, in the foreword. One, a passion for the God who is there, the God who directly engages with his people. Two, a passion for truth. Schaeffer felt that the conflict seen in society stemmed from differing concepts of truth, and he calls us to return to the truth of Scripture. Three, a compassion for people. As Schaeffer states in the book, “As I push the man off his false balance, he must be able to feel that I care for him. Otherwise I will only end up destroying him…” Four, a passion for culture. Without a deep, full understanding of what the world is thinking about and chasing after, the church cannot speak the truth of the Gospel effectively to it. Five, a passion for relevant and honest communication. Schaeffer brilliantly focuses on how many in our society use words to mask the real meanings and to hide reality. He calls us to unmask the meanings, and to face reality squarely.
Thirty years ago, Schaeffer spoke out against rational humanism and relativism because they dehumanize people and because they lead to despair. And now, in a culture that prides itself on individualism and relativism, we see the continuing death of human dignity and personality that Schaeffer spoke about. The God Who Is There is at least as relevant now as when it was first published, if not more relevant. The issues first highlighted in 1968 have become much more central in our culture in the 21st century. So join with Schaeffer in calling people back to a relationship with the God who is there.
|Escape from Reason
By Francis Schaeffer / Inter-varsity Press
Man is dead. God is dead. Life has become meaningless existence, man a cog in a machine. The only way of escape lies in a nonrational fantasy world of experience, drugs absurdity, pornography, an elusive “final experience,” madness… In this highly orginal book Dr. Schaeffer traces the way in which art and philosophy have reflected the dualism in Western thinking introduced at the time of the Renaissance. Today this dualism is expressed in a despair of rationality and an escape into a nonrational world which alone offers hope.
By C.S. Lewis / Zondervan Corp.
Arguably the 20th century’s most influential Christian writer, C.S. Lewis sought to explain and defend the beliefs that nearly all Christians at all times hold in common. His simple yet deeply profound classic, originally delivered as a series of radio broadcasts, is a book to be thoroughly digested by believers and generously shared with skeptics.
|Does God Believe in Atheists?
By John Blanchard / Evangelical Press
Wow. What else can one say in regard to this book? Dr. John Blanchard traces the history and development of atheistic and agnostic thinking from ancient Greece through to the present, showing us, in the process, why Christianity is a much more coherent and viable worldview.
Our culture has been radically changed by atheism, particularly the atheism inherent in Darwinian evolutionism. Blanchard highlights the naturalistic, materialistic assumptions of evolutionism, and critiques the contemporary arguments for evolutionism coming from people like Richard Dawkins and Peter Atkins.
But evolution is only one of the many atheistic philosophies and worldviews which have altered our culture (for the worse). Blanchard brilliantly exposes just how widespread atheism is in our contemporary culture, particularly as it is seen in several major world religions and almost all cults. Then he highlights the major flaws evident in worldviews like secular humanism, materialism, relativism, determinism, and existentialism, which are all just thinly veiled atheism (often not even veiled). He examines the writings of atheists like Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Camus, Sartre, and Russell, and discusses how profoundly they have impacted both atheism and modern culture.
After showing the deleterious effects of a widespread atheism, Blanchard turns to the figure of Jesus. Jesus is the pivotal point in the history of the universe, according to Blanchard (and many others, however grudgingly). Because the teachings of Jesus have inspired more people in the course of history than those of any other religion or teacher, we can’t ignore them. Thus, Blanchard reminds us of the veracity of the gospel accounts (the extant stories of Jesus’ life and ministry) and of the historicity of Jesus. He challenges the atheist to deal with the Jesus presented in the gospels, realizing that in the course of history, no atheist has been able to adequately deal with the reality and truth of Jesus.
In the end, the only choice we have is between theism and atheism, since the only viable choice for theism is biblical Christianity. Blanchard has compiled a truly compelling case against atheism, and a compelling case for Jesus. All that is left is for people to make their choice.
|The Consequences of Ideas
By R.C. Sproul / Crossway Books
Is philosophy relevant to your everyday life? You may not think so, but R.C. Sproul wants to remind you just how relevant philosophy really is. In The Consequences of Ideas he traces the history of philosophy by looking at some of the major names that contributed to it. The fact that most of the names will be familiar is an indication of the widespread cultural influence of philosophy.
Sproul reminds us that ideas can powerful. Many world leaders have understood that power in a purely negative way, quashing all dissent and even eliminating those whose ideas are different. One can’t deny the power that religious ideas like the trinity and incarnation of Jesus Christ have had on the world.
Starting with Thales of Miletus, Sproul takes us on a journey through philosophy. He looks at both Plato and Aristotle, and then moves to Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, two men who have shaped the ideas of the church perhaps more than any others. Sproul then takes a look at philosophers like Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, and even Darwin and Freud (Darwin and Freud are not usually considered philosophers, but their philosophical impact is often underestimated). Some of the philosophers are Christian; some like Nietzsche are anti-Christian; all are profoundly influential.
The goal of this book is to remind us how powerful ideas can be, and what The Consequences of Ideas are. Sproul does a masterful job of illustrating the influence that philosophy has had and is continuing to have on society. Armed with this knowledge, and a strong knowledge of Christian philosophy, you can join Sproul and influence the world for the better.