The Words of a 20th-Century Prophet

Today, May 15, 2024, is the fortieth anniversary of the death of Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984). To mark the occasion The Gospel Coalition released a retrospective piece on this influential twentieth-century Christian apologist by long-time Schaeffer associate Dick Keyes .

I also wrote on how Schaeffer spoke prophetically about one of the most pressing needs that the church has today—showing love to each other. If you’d like to see it, just click here.

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Why is showing love so important? As I noted earlier, one reason among many is that if we don’t show love to other Christians, we can’t expect non-Christians to believe in Jesus (John 17:20-21). In  Schaeffer’s book addressing this, The Mark of the Christian, he assumes something that I fear many Christians have lost. He assumes that evangelism is a priority. Instead, many certainly act like politics or the culture wars are more important. Yet when we disagree with anger and vitriol, we handicap our ability to draw people to Jesus.

My wife and I can’t be the only one who had a neighbor say, “I don’t want to be a Christian because I don’t want to be like them.”

“What do you mean? Be like them how?”

“Christians are just so hateful,” came the reply. Jesus would consider this response justified.

Sadly, the internet can bring out the worst in all of us–both in what we post and in how we react to those we disagree with. These days we seem to assume the worst possible motivations for the actions and words of others.

Instead it is time to give each other the benefit of the doubt and find room for grace.

Author: Andy Le Peau

I've been an editor and writer for over forty years. I am passionate about ideas and how we can express them clearly, beautifully, and persuasively. I love reading good books, talking about them, and recommending them. I thoroughly enjoy my family who help me continue on the path of a lifelong learner.

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