We are talking about real truth, and not something vaguely religious which seems to work psychologically…. We are talking about real guilt before God…. We are talking … about real history, that the death of Jesus was not just an ideal or a symbol, but a fact of space and time…. Until he understands the importance of these three things, he is not ready to become a Christian.
— Francis Schaeffer, quoted in Ambassador’s Guide to Postmodernism by Greg Koukl, p. 58
The Christian answer begins by saying that man is a moral creature made in the image of the Creator; that there is a law in the universe which, if broken, means that man is culpable. In this view, man is morally significant both as far as God is concerned and as far as his fellow men are concerned.
— Francis Schaeffer, from The God Who Is There, p. 105
Cultures can be judged in many ways, but eventually every nation in every age must be judged by this test: how did it treat people? Each generation, each wave of humanity, evaluates its predecessors on this basis. The final measure of mankind’s humanity is how humanely people treat one another.
— Francis Schaeffer, quoted in Great Divides by Ronald Nash, p. 19
I do not believe there is any one system of apologetics that meets the need of all the people, any more than I think there is any one form of evangelism that meets the need of all the people. It is to be shaped on the basis of love for the person as a person.
— Francis Schaeffer, from A Christian View of Philosophy and Culture, p. 177
Art and media are the means and the bridge over which the current philosophy of the philosophers reaches the general culture.
— Francis Schaeffer, quoted in The Truth Project by Del Tackett, Lesson 11 at 48:33; from How Should We Then Live?
The basic problem of the Christians in this country … is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals. They have very gradually become disturbed over permissiveness, pornography, the public school, the breakdown of the family, and finally abortion…. They have failed to see that all of this has come about due to a shift in a world view—that is, through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole.
— Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, p. 19
So often people think that Christianity is only something soft, only a kind of gooey love that loves evil equally with good. This is not the biblical position. The holiness of God is to be exhibited simultaneously with love.
— Francis Schaeffer, from The Mark of the Christian, p. 175 (of The Great Evangelical Disaster)
True Christian faith rests on content. It is not a vague thing which takes the place of real understanding, nor is it the strength of belief which is of value. The true basis for faith is not the faith itself, but the work which Christ finished on the cross. My believing is not the basis for being saved—the basis is the work of Christ. Christian faith is turned outward to an objective person: ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved.’
— Francis Schaeffer, from The God Who Is There, p. 133
People in our culture in general are already in the process of being accustomed to accept non- defined, contentless religious words and symbols, without any rational or historical control. Such words and symbols are ready to be filled with the content of the moment. The words ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ’ are the most ready for the manipulator. The phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ has become a contentless banner which can be carried in any direction for sociological purposes. In other words, because the phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ has been separated from true history and the content of Scripture, it can be used to trigger religiously motivated sociological actions directly contrary to the teaching of Christ.
— Francis Schaeffer, from The God Who Is There, p. 84
We must remember that the person to whom we are talking, however far from the Christian faith he may be, is an image-bearer of God. He has great value and our communication to him must be in genuine love. Love is not an easy thing; it is not just an emotional urge, but an attempt to move over and sit in the other person’s place and see how his problems look to him. Love is a genuine concern for the individual.
— Francis Schaeffer, from The God Who Is There, p. 120