A monumental work that draws on specially collected oral history to fully portray the person, work, and teaching of one of the most important figures in modern Christianity.
Nearly twenty-five years after his death, Francis Schaeffer's impact as one of the foremost shapers of modern Christianity still reverberates within the church and contemporary culture. A pastor, apologist, best-selling author, and activist whose work and ministry reached around the world, Schaeffer also managed to deeply and personally influence people of every age and position-men, women, youth, and children; the schooled intellectual and the common laborer, the scientist and the artist, the doubting Christian and the skeptical non-believer-in a way that few others have.
His impassioned, genuine life is the focus of Colin Duriez's authoritative biography, which draws on over 150,000 words of oral history in addition to personal interviews and other resources to portray not just the man and his relationships but his spiritual formation and the development of his ideas, creative works, and worldview.
From his working-class childhood in Pennsylvania, to the founding of L'Abri, his personal crisis of faith, and his latter years as a compassionate controversialist in the worldwide spotlight, all the eras of Schaeffer's life unfold within these pages. But Duriez, who studied under and interviewed Schaeffer, also takes a deeper look, revealing those distinct life phases, as well as Schaeffer's teachings and his complexities as a person, within their historical context so that contemporary readers may better understand all of who Schaeffer was-and why he still matters today.
Filling an important void in Schaeffer literature, this full-length biography illuminates the complex journey of one whose relentless passion for truth, reality, a full-orbed faith, and meeting the needs of people made him not just a giant within evangelicalism but a shining example of what every Christian in every generation strives after: An Authentic Life lived to the glory of God.
"Francis Schaeffer was an amazing man-intellectually brilliant and set on truth, emotionally intense, devoted to God and compassionate; like Jeremiah, perplexed by the world, not because he didn't understand it but because he did. As one of his editors, I came to know him well, but only after he emerged as a writer. For me Colin Duriez fills in the fascinating details of his early years. Yes, this was the man I knew-one who was surprised by God as his influence grew from his pastoring small churches to teaching thousands in auditoriums around the world, from conversations one on one or with a handful of students to intellectual sparring with elite secular scholars and pundits. Duriez knows his subject; Schaeffer, the Jeremiah of the twentieth century, walks and talks again in these pages."
James W. Sire, author, The Universe Next Door and A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics
"An excellent biography of this influential thinker, mingling personal memories and theological analysis. A must for Schaeffer's admirers and those wanting to develop his heritage today."
Alister E. McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology, Oxford University; Senior Research Fellow, Harris Manchester College, Oxford
"Francis Schaeffer taught evangelicals how to understand their world, exerting a profound influence over the next generation of young leaders after the publication in 1968 of The God Who Is There and Escape from Reason. His ministry at L'Abri, a Swiss center for caring for the hurt and the doubtful, had persuaded him of the need to discern how alternative worldviews had interacted over time with the Christian faith. He led the way, long before it was fashionable, in analyzing culture. Colin Duriez, who studied under Schaeffer and has interviewed many who were shaped by him, has written a lively biography that will introduce this powerful apologist to the twenty-first century."
David Bebbington, Professor of History, University of Stirling
"I thank God for this unique servant of the Lord and now for this book. Dr Schaeffer was one of the most influential men in my life and in the movement of O.M. He affirmed us when many leaders were still keeping their distance. In 1966 he was the main speaker at an O.M. conference in Forest Hill, London, and our movement was never the same. This unique book is way overdue, and especially those of us who were impacted by this amazing man are very grateful. What Dr. Schaeffer wrote years ago is even more relevant in this postmodern era."
George Verwer, Founder, Operation Mobilization