I’ve not read much of Frances Schaeffer, though what I have read has resonated with me. His use of words and contexts are similar to the way my mind works. Maybe not to the degree that I find compatibility with my “Uncle”, C. S. Lewis, but on a more literary level. I love Schaeffer’s coinage of terms such as true truth, which makes absolute sense to me. Or nothing nothing, which I’ve borrowed below to demonstrate how his mind works:
We are considering existence, the fact that something is there. Remember Jean-Paul Sartre’s statement that the basic philosophic question is that something is there rather than nothing being there. The first basic answer is that everything that exists has come out of absolutely nothing. In other words, you begin with nothing. Now, to hold this view, it must be absolutely nothing. It must be what I call nothing nothing. It cannot be nothing something or something nothing. If one is to accept this answer, it must be nothing nothing, which means there must be no energy, no mass, no motion, and no personality.
My description of nothing nothing runs like this. Suppose we had a very black blackboard which had never been used. On this blackboard we drew a circle, and inside that circle there was everything that was — and there was nothing within the circle. Then we erase the circle. This is nothing nothing. You must not let anybody say he is giving an answer beginning with nothing and then really begin with something: energy, mass, motion, or personality. That would be something, and something is not nothing.
The truth is I have never heard this argument sustained, for it is unthinkable that all that now is has come out of utter nothing. But theoretically, that is the first possible answer.
This week Schaeffer’s books are just $3.99 for Kindle. They include:
****I simply must add these paragraphs of Schaeffer’s from his book
As I see it, the Christian life must be comprised of three concentric circles, each of which must be kept in its proper place.
In the outer circle must be the correct theological position, true biblical orthodoxy and the purity of the visible church. This is first, but if that is all there is, it is just one more seedbed for spiritual pride.
In the second circle must be good intellectual training and comprehension of our own generation. But having only this leads to intellectualism and again provides a seedbed for pride.
In the inner circle must be the humble heart — the love of God, the devotional attitude toward God. There must be the daily practice of the reality of the God whom we know is there.
These three circles must be properly established, emphasized and related to each other. At the center must be kept a living relationship to the God we know exists. When each of these three circles is established in its proper place, there will be tongues of fire and the power of the Holy Spirit. Then, at the end of my life, when I look back over my work since I have been a Christian, I will see that I have not wasted my life.