Quotes from “The God Who is There” by Francis Schaeffer
This year I am reading through Francis Schaeffer’s Complete Works. Schaeffer has had a big impact on me and I’m looking forward to rereading books I’ve read in the past and working through some of his other books that I have to read. His discussions about presuppositions, worldview, and reaching those in our generation are particularly helpful.
The past couple weeks I read “The God Who is There.” This book in particular had an immense impact on me when I first read it ten years ago! Here’s some of my favorite quotes:
“biblical Christianity has an adequate and reasonable explanation for the source and meaning of human personality. Its source is sufficient—the personal God on the high order of Trinity. Without such a source men are left with personality coming from the impersonal (plus time, plus chance)” 94
“No one has presented an idea, let alone demonstrated it to be feasible, to explain how the impersonal beginning, plus time, plus chance, can give personality” 95
“if man has been kicked up by chance out of what is only impersonal, then those things that make him man—hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication—are ultimately unfulfillable and are thus meaningless” 95
“[in Christianity] there is a sufficient basis for morals. Nobody has ever discovered a way of having real “morals” without a moral absolute. If there is no moral absolute, we are left with hedonism (doing what I like) or some form of the social contract theory (what is best for society as a a hole is right). However, neither of these alternative corresponds to the moral motions that men have. Talk to people long enough and deeply enough, and you will find that they consider some things are really right and something are really wrong. Without absolutes, morals as morals cease to exist, and humanistic mean starting from himself is unable to find the absolute he needs. But because the God of the Bible is there, real morals exist. Within this framework I can say one action is right and another wrong, without talking nonsense.” 117
“When man fell, various divisions took place. The first and basic division is between man who has revolted and God. All other divisions flow from that. We are separated from God by our guilt—true moral guilt. Hence we need to be justified upon the basis of the finished substitutionary work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet is is quite plain form the Scriptures and from general observation that the separations did not stop with the separation of man from God. For, secondly, man was separated form himself. This gives riseto the psychological problems of life. Thirdly, man was separated from other men, leading to the sociological problems of life. Fourthly, man was separated from nature.” 164