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Schaeffer’s thesis weaves its way through decades of historical events, artistic movements, brilliant scientists and philosophers which all serve as evidence to make one resounding point- when Christianity is removed from our culture; when we try to function as autonomous man alone, all we will eventually get to is a state of amorality, non-reason, dehumanization, and shocking atrocities against what it really means to be human. Schaeffer traces the decline of culture and thought that has occured within Christianity. Even if you do indeed disagree. Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2018. Simply one of the most brilliant books I have read. None of the worldviews that have started with man apart from God (humanism) have been able to stand when other pressures in society come into play. Further in the same book he goes into discussing the contemporary times, how the artists portray the universe as something chaotic and of the result of chance, and that this cannot be the world we live in. Chapter 5 continues the discussion on the Reformation, but focuses on the the impact of the Reformation on the relationship between government and its citizens. Drawing upon forty years of study in theology, philosophy, history, sociology and the arts, Dr. Schaeffer contemplates the reasons for modern society's sorry state of affairs and argues for total affirmation of the Bible's morals, values, and meaning. One of the most succinctly written, flawlessly argued, and persuasively brilliant works of nonfiction I’ve ever read. We need big-picture thinkers (or generalists) to help us orient ourselves historically, theologically, and ethically. F. Schaeffer was a brilliant thinker, in the same league with C.S. Tries to cover too much ground in too little space, and so ends up thin on much of his argumentation and historical analysis. Not that the book isn’t practical, it is. You learn so very much that can be applied now! I found it very intriguing--a great overview of western thought from ancient Greece to 1976 (when the book was published). Finally - Nothing is my shepherd." Schaeffer stresses how a Christian worldview has fostered much of the scientific advancement, art and law seen in the west. I really feel he brought these to light in a straight forward manner without harsh judgment of them. Wondering what the past teaches us about the present? I must admit that I do not find art or music things I am drawn to, but Schaeffer highlights in this book their significance in understanding the changing thinking of the culture. Review of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? I agree with mr. Schaeffer in this second part, the only problem is that he is using reason to arrive at his conclusion, but isn’t reason the “whore of the devil”? It is notable that although "How then Should we Live" has a bibliography of over 300 books, there is nothing by Aquinas. (pg 226). In answering his question he indirectly challenges us with two of life's most important questions: "Who am I?" How Should We Then Live? There's a problem loading this menu right now. There is much I am unfamiliar with in terms of philosophies and worldviews. That is what Mr. Luther would say. The following information comes from Francis A. Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live? and How Then Should We Work?Discussion Guide (Participant version) togetherClick here for details.. Features an interview with the late Dr. Schaeffer and his wife, Edith. Top subscription boxes – right to your door. Was it recounting the influence of Christianity over the centuries? I was looking for something to pursue the thought expressed in Peter's second epistle, "Considering all these things (world being renovated by fire and looking for a new heavens and a new earth), what manner of men ought we to be?" Additionally, his method of discussing developments in the arts right alongside of the philosophical transformations was an approach to history which really struck a chord with me. Well, yes all of that. Maybe if I read it in a shorter period or watched the documentary it's based off of I'd catch the scope better. Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2017. The responsibility of influencing our culture with God's divine revelation is overwhelming! Shelves: history. The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture…, Books (Besides the Bible) Recommended for Christian Readers, 36 of the Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021. You can still see all customer reviews for the product. History does repeat itself, as Schaeffer so clearer exposes in this work. Quite frankly, I thought it was a good read, I personally enjoyed the book. As it is, I appreciate Schaeffer's insights and perspective, helping to expla. [The following essay explores the role that Francis Schaeffer played in the rise of the pro-life movement. Schaeffer also breaks down for us the way in which a decline in Science, and the philosophy of Science led man to believe that he was supreme and autonomous. 4. It does not matter that it's(this book's)author is Christian because he very fairly gives thought to each world-view and the ideas behind them. It works and is very insightful, it just didn't feel as cohesive. This is an important book for all Christians to read, and even more important for non-Christians. by Kevin Rhyne THE RENAISSANCE _____ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____ How Should We Then Live? None of the worldviews that have started with man apart from God (humanism) have been able to stand when other pressures in society come into pla. Although marketed as somewhat of a super-condensed history of Western culture (and a very good one at that, considering I read this for a Western Cultural History class), the book is really more of a long essay. Really enjoyed this. It left me with the knowledge that I must be vigilant. Here are my notes from a previous discussion from our Friday night series on How Should We Then Live? There are few books that age well. Dec 30, 2008 Ruth rated it it was amazing. Running head: SCHAEFFER CRITIQUE 1 How Should We Then Live? This book also demonstrates what happens when man tries to become his own god. We are living in those days. I remember when I read this book in like 2003-2004 the last few chapters gave me a chill of both Schaeffer's lucid thoughts and the warning of things to possibly come. This is Dr. Francis Schaeffer's spectacular series on the rise and decline of Western culture from a Christian perspective. History does repeat itself, as Schaeffer so clearer exposes in this work. It seems that he didn’t think that Marxist ideas would ever be championed by people in the West, oh how he’d be surprised. Our worldviews are based on our presuppositions and determine the way we act in the world. It examines the place of How Should We Then Live?, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, and A Christian Manifesto in that process.] Ideas and influences are everywhere which is why it is important to examine art, book/news articles, films, to discover the worldview they are trying to portray and whether or not it is one that can stand. As it is, I appreciate Schaeffer's insights and perspective, helping to explain things that have happened in the past 15 years even though this was written in the '70s. The Salvador Dali painting is of praticular interest because it shows an almost ghost like beardless Christ who is painted so lightly that small ships are visible through his body. Schaeffer writes in such a way, that even in areas I am not as knowledgeable, I was able to get a basic understanding. But people with understanding realize that their presuppositions should be *chosen* after a careful consideration of which worldview is true.”, What page has the quote, "“most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society, the way that a child catches the measles. Twists, turns, red herrings, the usual suspects: These books have it all...and more. To see what your friends thought of this book. How Should We Then Live remains an incisive and prophetic work that should not be ignored. Living as foreigners and aliens in a foreign culture has its own typical problems.For example, you always face the food problem, at least in the initial stage. 288 pages, softcover from Crossway Books. Was it issuing warnings about government over-reach? I guess I was not the only one confused by the title. This book gives an historical account of western society and its evolution over time through the lens of Christianity. How Should We Then Live is a discussion of how philosophy, art, and music have changed throughout history, and what these changes say about the human race and where we are headed. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. In a sense, I could see Schaeffer as prophetic or ahead of his time as in this day an age of the new Atheist "Brights" and modern/post-modern scholarship seeking it's foothold in czar posts and public policy in a condescending manner where any type of moral or religious views are lesser thoughts of the public square. This Discussion Guide Includes: Discussion Questions Pursues line of thought similar to Schaeffer's first popular book, Escape from Reason, in which he delves into art, literature, music and philosophy to show the decline of western thought and civilization. Schaeffer was one of the most brilliant thinkers of his generation and it shines through in this profound work. We tell each other to be. Soon I discovered that Schaffer's home in Switzerland (L'Abri) had become a lighthouse for hippies, university students steeped in existentialism, and many other truth seekers who were spiritual casualties of the baby boomer generation. Some of his odder characterizations of various philosophers (of Thomas Aquinas and Francis Bacon, for example) would require whole books to themselves for Schaeffer to defend himself against charges of serious misreading. The idea of the project How Should We Then Live?, both as a film documentary and as a book, was conceived in 1974 and completed in 1976. Basically this book is about how a society with a Christian foundation will fair better than one without it. He does not come across as condescending of these differing views but rather perhaps there is a sadness in his discussion of them. He does not come across as condescending of these differing views but rather perhaps there is a sadness in his discussion of them. Schaeffer's book although dated is still relevant for today and a great way of getting the thought and feel for his time. Any serious thinker must read it again and again.” —Cal Thomas, Fox News contributor, syndicated columnist “How Should We Then Live? Francis August Schaeffer was an American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. A civilization with absolutes based on Christian morals, values and actions. The biblical teaching gives meaning to all particulars, but this is especially so in regard to that particular which is the most important to man, namely, the individual himself or herself. Disabling it will result in some disabled or missing features. This book is a gem, one that lights the path on the narrow road. by Francis Schaeffer. This page works best with JavaScript. He shows for example a compa. My wife and I are from India; we are aliens and foreigners in this country. This has become a classic in Christian literature and justifiably so. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. Francis Schaeffer was such a thinker. The whole problem of the book is that the author says, following Mr. Luther, that reason is the enemy of faith, he then goes on to attack St. Thomas, he says in the book that Thomas would teach that human reason is not fallen, which is false, he makes it very clear that he is very ignorant in the subjects he discusses. I was a little hesitant to read this because I was concerned the topics would be beyond me. (3) August 8, 2014 By Kevin Rhyne Leave a Comment Francis Schaeffer | This Bread AlwaysIn the last chapter, Schaeffer pointed out how the Middle Ages saw a split of the… No matter how long we live here, because of our skin color and the way we speak, we will always be treated as foreigners. The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture pdf (ePUB) book. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2013. As you read each chapter you keep thinking 'this is the United States of America today in the second decade of the 21st century." (not an exact quote). Every Senior in High School should read this before going to college. I actually found I am more familiar than I’d realized! Schaeffer contrasted them, rightly so, with the Christian worldview, showing how these have affected mankind to this day. As this book was written in the 1970s, we can actually see these outcomes today. Our age is one of tremendous confusion and despair because men have forgotten the lessons in this magnificent book. a classic of Christian history and apologetics, Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2019. A Western world that exploded with freedom and innovation from the Christian Reformation period we have just celebrated the 500th anniversary. I will be focusing on the book in this review. How Should We Then Live is a discussion of how philosophy, art, and music have changed throughout history, and what these changes say about the human race and where we are headed. " This book is a personal analysis of the key moments in history which have formed our present culture, and the thinking of the men who brought those moments to pass. A thorough and thought-provoking analysis of human thought from ancient Rome, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment to the scientific "Atomic" age. Was it issuing warnings about government over-reach? I cannot forget the first time I took a bite out of a hamburger. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. Outstanding overview of history and the role of the Christian Church. He offers at the end possible outcomes or paths that the West (actually the world) may follow if a continued humanistic worldview is adhered to. How Should We Then Live? Even if you do indeed disagree. Also nice audio. Although Francis' Schaeffer is not a scholar in the modern sense or standard of his day or today, he was a Christian intellectual who examined his day with other thinkers and brought forth important analysis and thoughts. Ideas have consequences and Christians should know what the world’s ideas have been and are so that we can bring them to absurdity and show that truth is only found in the personal triune God and His word! The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. This book serves as a warning for what happens when Christians ignore the warnings that the powers that be can and will threaten our way of life if we do nothing. Unfortunately there was some that was above my level of comprehension, but I can only imagine what I'll pick up the next time I read it. This author makes a compelling argument for Christianity. How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture is a major Christian cultural and historical documentary film series and book. In the Acknowledgments, Francis Schaeffer writes about the idea behind the project: "Using my study, over the past forty years, of Western thought and culture as a base, we could attempt to present the flow and development which have led to twentieth … It demonstrates the rise of man's thoughts and man's works over God's. Shows how the Biblical worldview is the only one that can provide freedom without chaos and give value and meaning to every part of life and the world. Francis Schaeffer's sweeping series on the rise and decline of Western thought and culture surveys history---from the Roman Empire through the 20th century---and offers biblical answers to modern problems. As one of the foremost evangelical thinkers of the twentieth century, Francis Schaeffer long pondered the fate of declining Western culture. Then - Everything is my shepherd. Opposed to theological modernism, Schaeffer promoted a more historic Protestant faith and a presuppositional approach to Christian apologetics which he believed would answer the questions of the age. His work "How Then Should We Live" should be required text for High School and College students. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I could see that possibility in his time and my time when I read it. That issue makes me suspicious of his readings of people such as Heidegger, with whom I am less familiar, and detracts from the credibility of the whole book. This certainly does not happen quickly, but is something that develops over time. How Should We Then Live? Insightful, intellectual, and impactful. Schaeffer examines philosophical thinking from humanism to nihilism and beyond, and how it's reflected in art and music. Summary Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2014. The first edition of the novel was published in 1975, and was written by Francis A. Schaeffer. Although Francis' Schaeffer is not a scholar in the modern sense or standard of his day or today, he was a Christian intellectual who examined his day with other thinkers and brought forth important analysis and thoughts. January 1, 1977. Schaeffer was one of the most brilliant thinkers of his generation and it shines through in this profound work. A thorough and thought-provoking analysis of human thought from ancient Rome, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment to the scientific "Atomic" age. Shaeffer pointed me to the Bible, the reformation and the Christian world view for which he was such an articulate spokesman. One of the most succinctly written, flawlessly argued, and persuasively brilliant works of nonfiction I’ve ever read. You'll get access to all of the How Should We Then Live? For anyone looking for an overlay of Christian Church history over particularly western world history, this book is a must read. Even in our brokenness God waits patiently for our answers to life's most important questions. He takes us through a great span of history from the ancient world up until modern times, and in each chapter explains in with great clarity and introspection, how Christianity changed the world for the better. This book was a life-changer. That issue makes me suspicious of his readings of people such as Heidegger, with whom I am less familiar, and detracts from the credibility of the whole. Full of insight and thought provoking topics. It would certainly be beneficial to all of our governmental leaders. Really bad, a book that contradicts itself. Includes study guide. Rather, it was because he understood that insanity was the only philosophic answer if the infinite-personal God does not exist.”, “Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society, the way that a child catches the measles. This is the first book I've read by the Swiss theologian, pastor and philosopher Francis Schaeffer. In this book I learned more than I ever have about how our society (Western Society) became what it is today and who were the movers and shakers of that campaign. It covers hundreds of years of the cultures and the Bible truths. This is a must read for Christians wanting to explain and tackle world views around them, their history and where they lead. By Gene Edward Veith, Jr. (Wilfred M. McClay, First Things) -STUDY GUIDE: How Should We Then Live? He points out that the east never achieved the same degree of success in this realm because pantheism discourages discovery in a nature--where spirits dwell and might wreak havoc on humans. This book was a life-changer. by Crossway Books, How Should We Then Live? This is very heavy reading. Beginning with the Romans, Schaeffer traces the history of Western thought right up to the present. He changes and blesses lives, he changes the history of the world by the phenomenon of Christian giving. While it is quite deep at times to where I cant understand a paragraph, I just keep reading & eventually I will get its meaning. I r. What an excellent book! If you are agnostic, atheistic, Christian, or existential in your beliefs you need to read this book. Although marketed as somewhat of a super-condensed history of Western culture (and a very good one at that, considering I read this for a Western Cultural History class), the book is really more of a long essay. I first read this book in 1978 at the age of twenty. He does not insult your intelligence by ramming the Bible down peoples throats, so please read for it is indeed interesting even if I do not agree with all his thoughts and ideas. is one for the ages. Any intellectual and open-minded person will give this book a try. Not so. Opposed to theological modernism, Schaeffer promoted a more historic Protestant faith and a presuppositional approach to Christian apologetics which he believed would answer the questions of. The cycles we as humans have gone through to get to the point we are at now are shocking yet at the same time predictable. Was it focusing specifically on art? We tell each other to be open minded, well let us be open to everything. Religious or not, one must admit that Dr. Schaeffer is as scholarly a theologian as one might find. He is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L'Abri community in Switzerland. This was a book where I was never quite sure what it was doing. Emphasizes that man is a two-story individual, with first story built on fact and logic, the second on metaphysics, requiring a "leap of faith" for non-believers and a confidence in Scripture for believers. It is fascinating to read, especially in light of it being 40 plus years since Schaeffer wrote this classic. This is the first book I've read by the Swiss theologian, pastor and philosopher Francis Schaeffer. I'll definitely be looking up more of Schaeffer's books in the future. He is passionate yet calm, and his writing style, while dense, is easily understood for the layman. Schaeffer stresses how a Christian worldview has fostered much of the scientific advancement, art and law seen in the west. What an incredible synopsis of the rise and fall of Western thought and culture! Of praticular interest to me was his emphasis on the decline of art in culture and how it evolved from a God honoring tradition to post-modernism confusion. Every area of my life changed - my politics, priorities, goals, morality. In what’s not a short book Schaeffer gives a brief history of the “decline of western though and culture.” He starts in Greece and ends in 1976 drug filled sexually revolutionized America. The book was published in multiple languages including English, consists of 288 pages and is available in Paperback format. One should be more thoughtful about one's presuppositions. With man as the "measure of all things," culture takes for granted the moral directives given by God, the fact that scientific discovery by Europeans was possible due to the belief in reasonable God as revealed in scripture. Free download or read online How Should We Then Live? The title of this book seems to indicate that the work itself would be something uber-practical, almost how-to in nature, but if you know Francis Schaeffer you will know better. What an excellent book! Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2018. Christianity is a timeless religion and it should never give up on it's core beliefs and it should never give in to the prevailing trends of society that subvert those core values. A timeless classic. It works and is very insightful, it just didn't feel as cohesive. Any society which loses it's Christian foundation is destined to be a society which can be manipulated to accept the views and direction set forth by oppressive governing bodies. I must admit that I do not find art or music things I am drawn to, but Schaeffer highlights in this book their significance in understanding the changing think. In a sense, I could see Schaeffer as prophetic or ahead of his time as in this day an age of the new Atheist "Brights" and modern/post-modern scholarship seeking it's foothold in czar posts and public policy in a condescending manner where any type of moral or religious views a. Let us begin the review with the subtitle, “The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture.” (The title itself seems to have been cribbed from William Morris’s essay, “How Shall We Live Then.” This may be coincidence, but Schaeffer has a history of failing to acknowledge those who have influenced him.) -REVIEW: of Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture. Watch with Prime. The whole problem of the book is that the author says, following Mr. Luther, that reason is the enemy of faith, he then goes on to attack St. Thomas, he says in the book that Thomas would teach that human reason is not fallen, which is false, he makes it very clear that he is very ignorant in the subjects he discusses. How events such as Ancient Rome, and the Renaissance has shaped modern thinking, and ultimately shaped History. Schaeffer narrated and appeared throughout the film series, which was … The only viable alternative, he says, is living by the Christian ethic, acceptance of God's revelation, and total affirmation of the Bible's values and meaning. In many ways his predictions made then, have come true. With Francis Schaeffer, Francis A. Schaeffer. I'm still working through some of this book, but I have absolutely loved what Schaeffer has to say, especially in regards to the dangers of a society that is primarily concerned with personal peace and affluence. Schaeffer transformed my understanding of history, especially the history of philosophical thought, and really enabled me to make sense of so many things that had been gnawing at me for years—ever since I was introduced to the likes of Nietzsche in an Introduction to Philosophy class at a state university. C. Cultures to Study in Understanding Where we Are and Where we … It presents profound truths in simple language and concludes that man's only hope is a return to God's Biblical absolute -- the Truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures. In a culture where truth is relativistic and sometime life makes absolutely no sense, it is important to search all possibilities. This study is made in the hope that light may be shed upon the major characteristics of our age and that solutions may be found to the myriad of problems which face us as we look toward the end of the twentieth century." Shows the progress of thought and how the vehicles of art, music, drama, writing, media, film have carried human ideas/worldviews to the culture and how the culture has been affected by them. How Should We Then Live - DVD – Vinson-ahna B, 09/30/2010 How should we Live Parts 1 and 2 were both excellent. After renting the first part I had thought it was an older production and needed to be updated but after viewing part 2 I realized how very valid the content still was. In this brilliant book he analyzed the reasons for modern society's state of affairs and presented the only viable alternative: living by the Christian ethic, acceptance of God's revelation, and total affirmation of the Bible's morals, values, and meaning. Start by marking “How Should We Then Live? and "Why am I here?" This is a discussion guide for the title How Then Should We Work: Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work. "How Should We Then Live?" He wasn’t wrong. This was first published in Denver Journal, the on-line book review organ of Denver Seminary. Whether in the end you believe it or not you still can say that you were open enough to read this book. In what is probably his most well-known book, How Should We Then Live?, Francis Schaeffer uses history, religion, philosophy, art, music, literature, and culture as a background for a discussion of society and how we should be living if we are under God's direction.This book has been instrumental in the recent renewed interest in worldviews among Christians. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published : The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and... © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Lengthy, but an excellent analysis of how different cultures answer the questions of why we are here, what is wrong with the world, and how we should fix it. Additionally, his method of discussing developments in the arts right alongside of the philosophical transformations was an approach to history which really struc. Not be ignored predictions made Then, have come true all customer reviews for the.. 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