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A Christian Manifesto

A Christian Manifesto


A Christian Manifesto

ratings:
4.5/5 (25 ratings)
Length:
2 hours
Released:
Jan 1, 2007
ISBN:
9781596444287
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In this explosive book, Francis Schaeffer shows how law, government, education, and media have all contributed to a shift from our country's Judeo-Christian foundation.

He calls for a massive movement—in government, law, and all of life—to reestablish the Judeo-Christian foundation and turn the tide of moral decadence and loss of freedom.

An EChristian, Inc production.

Released:
Jan 1, 2007
ISBN:
9781596444287
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Francis A. Schaeffer founded the L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and was the author of many books, including The God Who Is There. Until his death in 1984, he was also a noted speaker with a worldwide ministry. His ministry continues through his books, with over two million copies in print.

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What people think about A Christian Manifesto

4.6
25 ratings / 11 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I loved this book.
  • (5/5)
    "A Christian Manifesto" was inspiring to me in that it motivated me to be more involved and engaged with society not only in an evangelistic way but also in regard to social justice. Our church has jumped on the "social justice" bandwagon and I love it. I think all churches should fight for what is right and help protect those that cannot protect themselves. Something Francis Schaeffer espouses in this great book.
  • (5/5)
    I have had other [[Francis Schaeffer]] books recommended to me, but I never really got into any of them. A couple of weeks ago I read an excerpt from [A Christian Manifesto] and was intrigued.So, on the recommendation of a friend, I bought a used copy. It arrived on Friday, and I picked it up Saturday evening.I read it cover to cover before I went to bed. Wow.Double wow.Triple wow.This is a fascinating book written 30 years ago, but that predicts what can and will happen in our society, based upon what happened in the first half of the 20th century.And what's really interesting is that it describes to a T what is happening in our world, today.It's not just for Christians, but I would highly recommend it to all followers of Jesus Christ.Five stars, unequivocally.
  • (3/5)
    For me, despite his son's tell-all book and Bob Dylan's disenchantment with Christianity, nothing undermines poor Dr. Schaeffer like the picture of him short breeches and knee socks, on the back of this book.
  • (4/5)
    A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer is a book to ponder and reread. Though his style is simple, Schaeffer's subject is one with far-reaching consequences for every Christian. How are we to live in a culture that is increasingly hostile toward the Christian worldview? What kind of choices are we going to have to make in the future if we reach the point of persecution? In this book Schaeffer explains the framework of human government and where it derives its authority, laying out the theoretical justification for religious protest and civil disobedience.Schaeffer lays out Locke's theory of government which was basically a secularized version of Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex (which means "law is king," a shocking concept in the 17 century), arguing that America's government was based on that model (not anything from classical Greece). He contrasts the American Revolution with the French, writing that the reason that the French Revolution ended in a bloodbath (and the American didn't) was because God was left out of the lawmaking process. Without some higher law than our own to be supreme, there is no final authority, and might equals right.Schaeffer discusses America's current policy of arbitrary lawmaking; that is, making up laws as we go along, based on nothing but the preference of the majority (or in many cases, the preference of the minority in power in our courts). It may be the same in other countries around the world as well. Arbitrary law is dangerous because it has no foundation except circumstances, which are always changing. Therefore we are depriving ourselves of foundation and stability when we make laws arbitrarily. Confusion and ultimately tyranny will inevitably result, and it's a grim picture. Thankfully, the Christian's hope is not in human government which, although ordained by God, will always be flawed. We are here now and have a responsibility to do all we can to glorify God on Earth, but our real citizenship is in Heaven. I'm so thankful!Mixed in with all this is what is replacing the Christian worldview in Western countries: secular humanism. Secular humanism is a religion just like Christianity or Judaism or Islam; it just replaces God with man. What is so sad is that as we make man the center of the universe, he loses his humanity. We were never made to be God and when we worship ourselves and our achievements, we dehumanize ourselves. Ironic, isn't it?So what's a Christian (or a Jew, or a Muslim) to do with all this? For Christians, we know that we are to obey our governmental authorities as per Romans 13. But human government derives its authority from God's law; we are not a basis for ourselves. So when a human government begins to require that its citizens perform acts that are against God's law, that government has abrogated its authority and the Christian is no longer under obligation to obey it. As Victor Hugo puts it, "a prince is nothing in the presence of a principle." God's law trumps human laws every time.Schaeffer is careful to stress that living out one's faith (for Jews and Muslims as well as Christians) in a secular humanistic culture may entail acts that are not considered mere religious protest, but actual civil disobedience. One example he uses is abortion. Some Christians may choose not to pay a portion of their taxes if that money is used to fund an act that directly contradicts God's law about the sanctity of human life. That's not a decision to be made lightly, and one thing I really appreciated is how Schaeffer is careful to leave this as a matter of personal conviction. He says that we should never judge believers in other countries where persecution is a matter of course, not the exception. I'm reminded of the verse in Romans 14 that talks about the weaker brother and how it is to his own master that he stands or falls, and he will stand because Christ is able to make him stand. We don't earn our salvation by being brave and bold in the face of persecution, and that is a great comfort.I didn't know much about this book before I started it, and I'm glad I didn't. I might have shuffled it to the bottom of the to-read pile if I had known it was so political. I don't like politics, mostly because I have strong convictions based on my worldview and the political scene is a profoundly discouraging one for the Christian. It depresses me to see all the ways in which our society and government are displaying hatred of God. And yet I believe that He is sovereign, actively directing all of human history according to His will. So I trust that even when things look bleak from a human perspective, God is working out His plan — and it's a good one.I'm still thinking about this book and its implications, and will be for some time. The world has always been the enemy of the Christian, and this won't change until all things are made new in the New Heavens and the New Earth. It is our responsibility to be good stewards of the rights that our government has granted us until those rights are taken away. And that means that Christians need to be active in our communities, upholding God's law as the only legitimate basis for government. When our rights of free speech and protest are taken away, there will be other decisions to make.I will certainly be reading more of Schaeffer's work. Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Schaeffer tries to hold the standards high. Describes the gradual shift away from a theist view of the world in which we are "morally accountable" to a materialist view with secular values that dominate our society today.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent! Very well articulated view points and really helped my understanding
  • (4/5)
    A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer is a book to ponder and reread. Though his style is simple, Schaeffer's subject is one with far-reaching consequences for every Christian. How are we to live in a culture that is increasingly hostile toward the Christian worldview? What kind of choices are we going to have to make in the future if we reach the point of persecution? In this book Schaeffer explains the framework of human government and where it derives its authority, laying out the theoretical justification for religious protest and civil disobedience.Schaeffer lays out Locke's theory of government which was basically a secularized version of Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex (which means "law is king," a shocking concept in the 17 century), arguing that America's government was based on that model (not anything from classical Greece). He contrasts the American Revolution with the French, writing that the reason that the French Revolution ended in a bloodbath (and the American didn't) was because God was left out of the lawmaking process. Without some higher law than our own to be supreme, there is no final authority, and might equals right.Schaeffer discusses America's current policy of arbitrary lawmaking; that is, making up laws as we go along, based on nothing but the preference of the majority (or in many cases, the preference of the minority in power in our courts). It may be the same in other countries around the world as well. Arbitrary law is dangerous because it has no foundation except circumstances, which are always changing. Therefore we are depriving ourselves of foundation and stability when we make laws arbitrarily. Confusion and ultimately tyranny will inevitably result, and it's a grim picture. Thankfully, the Christian's hope is not in human government which, although ordained by God, will always be flawed. We are here now and have a responsibility to do all we can to glorify God on Earth, but our real citizenship is in Heaven. I'm so thankful!Mixed in with all this is what is replacing the Christian worldview in Western countries: secular humanism. Secular humanism is a religion just like Christianity or Judaism or Islam; it just replaces God with man. What is so sad is that as we make man the center of the universe, he loses his humanity. We were never made to be God and when we worship ourselves and our achievements, we dehumanize ourselves. Ironic, isn't it?So what's a Christian (or a Jew, or a Muslim) to do with all this? For Christians, we know that we are to obey our governmental authorities as per Romans 13. But human government derives its authority from God's law; we are not a basis for ourselves. So when a human government begins to require that its citizens perform acts that are against God's law, that government has abrogated its authority and the Christian is no longer under obligation to obey it. As Victor Hugo puts it, "a prince is nothing in the presence of a principle." God's law trumps human laws every time.Schaeffer is careful to stress that living out one's faith (for Jews and Muslims as well as Christians) in a secular humanistic culture may entail acts that are not considered mere religious protest, but actual civil disobedience. One example he uses is abortion. Some Christians may choose not to pay a portion of their taxes if that money is used to fund an act that directly contradicts God's law about the sanctity of human life. That's not a decision to be made lightly, and one thing I really appreciated is how Schaeffer is careful to leave this as a matter of personal conviction. He says that we should never judge believers in other countries where persecution is a matter of course, not the exception. I'm reminded of the verse in Romans 14 that talks about the weaker brother and how it is to his own master that he stands or falls, and he will stand because Christ is able to make him stand. We don't earn our salvation by being brave and bold in the face of persecution, and that is a great comfort.I didn't know much about this book before I started it, and I'm glad I didn't. I might have shuffled it to the bottom of the to-read pile if I had known it was so political. I don't like politics, mostly because I have strong convictions based on my worldview and the political scene is a profoundly discouraging one for the Christian. It depresses me to see all the ways in which our society and government are displaying hatred of God. And yet I believe that He is sovereign, actively directing all of human history according to His will. So I trust that even when things look bleak from a human perspective, God is working out His plan — and it's a good one.I'm still thinking about this book and its implications, and will be for some time. The world has always been the enemy of the Christian, and this won't change until all things are made new in the New Heavens and the New Earth. It is our responsibility to be good stewards of the rights that our government has granted us until those rights are taken away. And that means that Christians need to be active in our communities, upholding God's law as the only legitimate basis for government. When our rights of free speech and protest are taken away, there will be other decisions to make.I will certainly be reading more of Schaeffer's work. Highly recommended.
  • (3/5)
    Of all the books, Mr. Schaeffer had written, this would probably be in need of a rewrite as some of the materials he presented left much to be desired. I do appreciate some of his points but it is a bit dangerous to make indefensible statements like refusing to pay taxes (see Matthew 17:24-27) as Jesus reminds us that the world has no understanding of the realities of God's kingdom. Understand that there are serious flaws with some of the theology he presents which is unlike his other works. His other works are much better than this one yet still a good read
  • (4/5)
    This book defined very succinctly for me what the clash in our society is right now. Along with the fact that most people are seeking personal comfort and affluence, to the extent that they are willing to give up many freedoms for the promise of those things, there is a clash of beliefs between those who believe that life is simple random chance with no absolutes and those who believe there is a bottom-line of right from wrong and that that line was drawn by God and therefore cannot be tampered with by man.The author states the principles found in Lex Rex by Samuel Rutherford, that everyone, whether King or government, is under the rule of law. Unless there are inalienable rights given by an authority above and beyond man and a Law which is above petty interference of the whim of the elite, then law just becomes another tool for tyrants of whatever majority is powerful at the moment. Mr. Schaeffer makes it clear the principles on which our country was founded; I give you the following quote because he speaks better than I about where our country is headed.“The result of the original base in the United States (that there is a Truth and we should try to be guided by it) gave the possibility of “liberty and justice for all.” And while it was always far from perfect, it did result in liberty. This included liberty to those who hold other views - views which would not give the freedom. The material-energy, chance view (humanism) has taken advantage of that liberty, supplanted the consensus, and resulted in an intolerance that gives less and less freedom in courts and schools for the view which originally gave the freedoms. Having no base for law, those who hold the humanist view make binding law whatever they personally think is good for society at the moment. This leads increasingly to arbitrary law and rulings which produce chaos in society and which then naturally and increasingly tend to lead to some form of authoritarianism. At that point what the country had in the first place is lost and dead.”Though this book was written almost thirty years ago, I found it very relevant to today as a guide for Christians and their role in society. It is not enough to just be good, we must also be doing good for the culture around us. Salt and light.
  • (5/5)
    “The problem always was, and is, what is an adequate base for law?”(pg. 27) Schaeffer’s question is a good one and its one we as Christians have neglected for way to long. It’s a question he answers in this book and answers it with conviction.Let’s face it, political involvement has always been a struggle in the church. Just how are we to respond to the injustices around us? The opinion has been varied throughout church history running the gambit of public thought on this most important subject. I’ll let you know upfront…if you are a pacifist pass this book on by.Schaeffer’s first task in this work is to define the fundamental need for Christians to be active in the political process, pitting Truth (Christianity) against humanism. His (totally correct) observation is that humanism is rapidly gaining ground and that this tragic reality will produce a society unable to function due to a lack of foundation. Schaeffer quotes Witherspoon’s prophetic comment “A republic once equally poised must either preserve its virtue or lose its liberty”(pg. 33)…amen to that.The author has little love for what passes muster for ‘Christianity’ in the States. “Most fundamentally, our culture, society, government, and law are in the condition they are in not because of a conspiracy, but because the church has forsaken its duty to be the salt of the culture.”(pg. 56) He’s not willing to accept defeat though. He states, “We still have it (freedom). And it’s our calling to do something about it and use it in our democracy while we have it.”(pg. 56) But how does he suggest we go about this?!? The second half of the book deals with this touchy subject.Schaeffer has one simple presupposition; God has sovereignty over all things, therefore the Lordship of Christ is interwoven into everything we are and do. Given that obvious, albeit generally rejected, biblical truth he goes on to wrestle with the issue of what a Christians reply to a society falling to pieces should be. When, if ever, should we participate in civil disobedience? His answer is simple, yet provocative, showing how numb even I (a self-proclaimed ‘radical’) have become.He is careful to explain that God has ordained the civil governments; he’s not a theonomist nor a reconstructionist. His question is an unadorned one “what is to be done when the state does that which violates its legitimate function?”(pg. 92) Feel yourself blushing? It only get’s rougher. “The bottom line is that at a certain point there is not only the right, but the duty, to disobey the state”(pg. 93) See…I told you. I have a note in the margin from the first time I read through this. It reads, “Hard even for me to accept.” It’s gotten easier.Schaeffer is not calling for the letting of blood, yet is quick to point out that one day the need might one day be brought upon some to defend themselves at all costs. Are we willing to die for the truth?His main call is for protest, i.e. legal action, but does not rule out the possible need of force. He explains his point clearly, carefully, and cogently not wanting to be misunderstood, yet his beliefs are unflinching. I’ll end this with a quote that sums it up well, “There would have been no founding of the United States of America without the Founding Fathers’ realization that there is a bottom line. And to them the basic bottom line was not pragmatic; it was one of principle…If there is no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the Living God.”(pg. 130)Ponder that one for awhile…