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Francis was a theologian, philosopher, and a pastor. He’s known for taking the presuppositional approach to apologetics and faith: meaning there is a starting point prior to you believing, prior to your reason. A presupposition is an implicit assumption about the world or about a belief. For example: I’m now a vegetarian. Presupposition: I used to eat meat. Have you talked to your dad about it? Presupposition: your dad exists.
In The God Who Is There, Schaeffer takes us on a journey through history to examine the decline of antithetical thinking. A long time ago, people generally though in the form of antithesis: right and wrong, yes or no, black and white. But as they kept on getting things wrong, they shifted to the understanding that there’s no way of finding the truth. He calls this transition “The Line of Despair.” For Europe, this transition came in 1890 and in 1935 for the United States.
He points out that this decline started after the line of despair. It first made its appearance in philosophy, than blended into art, than music, than in the general culture, and finally in theology. We see it in our time today through our pop artists, philosophers, and even our “christian” culture.
Schaeffer goes through each stage and touches on the major influencers of how we got to where we are today: everyone does what they think is right in their own eyes.
Read this book, learn from it, disciple the world.