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Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian Life

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In this collection of Francis Schaeffer's letters, the personal, spiritual, and practical side of Dr. Schaeffer's work comes shining through so clearly. Each of us will find here something of ourselves, our frailty and our human need, but also something of what we might become through the transforming presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. In this collection of Francis Schaeffer's letters, the personal, spiritual, and practical side of Dr. Schaeffer's work comes shining through so clearly. Each of us will find here something of ourselves, our frailty and our human need, but also something of what we might become through the transforming presence of Jesus Christ in our lives.


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In this collection of Francis Schaeffer's letters, the personal, spiritual, and practical side of Dr. Schaeffer's work comes shining through so clearly. Each of us will find here something of ourselves, our frailty and our human need, but also something of what we might become through the transforming presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. In this collection of Francis Schaeffer's letters, the personal, spiritual, and practical side of Dr. Schaeffer's work comes shining through so clearly. Each of us will find here something of ourselves, our frailty and our human need, but also something of what we might become through the transforming presence of Jesus Christ in our lives.

30 review for Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Hawkins

    It’s one thing to read someone’s theology in books, it’s another thing to see how they practically applied this theology to real people in real situations. That’s why this collection of letters is so helpful. On one hand, I think I’d prefer to read his books (I don’t particularly enjoy reading 1-3 page little snippets). But on the other hand, it’s very helpful to see him dig deep into his theology and apply it so well to people in need. The book is split into three categories of letters. First, t It’s one thing to read someone’s theology in books, it’s another thing to see how they practically applied this theology to real people in real situations. That’s why this collection of letters is so helpful. On one hand, I think I’d prefer to read his books (I don’t particularly enjoy reading 1-3 page little snippets). But on the other hand, it’s very helpful to see him dig deep into his theology and apply it so well to people in need. The book is split into three categories of letters. First, the letters pertain to Schaeffer talking about the importance of having true spiritual reality in one’s life. Second, the letters discuss what this looks like in daily living. Then third, and interestingly, about 80 pages worth of letters are committed to issues of marriage, the family, and especially sexuality. The first two categories were more typical Schaeffer, while the third category is newer as you get to see his pastoral counsel, sometimes strong, in the area of marriage and sexuality. Overall, as someone who has been very influenced by the man, I’m very glad this collection exists. Schaeffer’s theology coupled with his true love for people shines through in an exemplary well. I hope by reading I gleaned some of it myself.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cliff Dailey

    This book is for the church leader. Francis is inspirational in how he ran a ministry through writing letters to so many people.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Lee

    I really enjoyed reading Francis Schaeffer when I was an undergrad, he in many ways encouraged me to think more independently about my Christian faith. I remember reading him with Augustine’s Confessions alongside and it made me cry. But what especially moved me was his honesty in telling people that for some years he experienced no warmth towards Christ and that he simply could not put on a facade while being a minister of God’s word. He said that God had to deal with himself first. When in deb I really enjoyed reading Francis Schaeffer when I was an undergrad, he in many ways encouraged me to think more independently about my Christian faith. I remember reading him with Augustine’s Confessions alongside and it made me cry. But what especially moved me was his honesty in telling people that for some years he experienced no warmth towards Christ and that he simply could not put on a facade while being a minister of God’s word. He said that God had to deal with himself first. When in debate with other people (mostly Christians), Schaeffer also realised the pitfalls of being “theologically correct” while ignoring the “person” behind those high-flown arguments. He also said in retrospect that in those down times, he would go for long walks by himself with his dog every day and he appreciated his wife Edith in that she prayed for him above anything else, instead of pointing her fingers at him or trying to right his wrongs. I loved the couple. Back to the book, so much so as I enjoyed reading letters but I don’t think this collection is very well organised (I am sure it’s hard to put in order someone else’s personal correspondences accumulated over the years), some parts are very repetitive and thus tedious to read. Or, perhaps it’s not fair to judge/enjoy the book this way since those letters are in nature more personal and meant to be read in a way that is more relevant to each individual reader. In any case, I don’t think this book would be a good place to start if you are not familiar with the Schaeffers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tina Williams

    In just the right timing, I picked this book of the shelf of a thrift store nearly three or four years ago. I picked it up to read and how precious are the words of the gentle man of God. He managed to love the sinner and teach truth. He repented and changed. He encouraged and challenged. I loved my time getting to know the Lord better so many years later. This book was written a year before ai married. Some of the letters were written before I was born. And now at fifty-one, I am reading words o In just the right timing, I picked this book of the shelf of a thrift store nearly three or four years ago. I picked it up to read and how precious are the words of the gentle man of God. He managed to love the sinner and teach truth. He repented and changed. He encouraged and challenged. I loved my time getting to know the Lord better so many years later. This book was written a year before ai married. Some of the letters were written before I was born. And now at fifty-one, I am reading words of wisdom for my life in the moment in history.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Love his books!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mark Nenadov

    Normally I don't enjoy books of letters. For instance, I've read a book with letters from D. Martyn Lloyd Jones. Though I greatly respect that man and his ministry, and the letters certainly didn't diminish my respect for him, the letters made for banal reading. But this book is quite different. The letters are compelling and rich with content, not just run-of-the-mill correspondence. Schaeffer answers people in thoughtful, penetrating, and sometimes quite controversial ways. The overall theme i Normally I don't enjoy books of letters. For instance, I've read a book with letters from D. Martyn Lloyd Jones. Though I greatly respect that man and his ministry, and the letters certainly didn't diminish my respect for him, the letters made for banal reading. But this book is quite different. The letters are compelling and rich with content, not just run-of-the-mill correspondence. Schaeffer answers people in thoughtful, penetrating, and sometimes quite controversial ways. The overall theme is "Spiritual Reality". Part One is "The Reawakening of Spiritual Reality'. These letters deal mainly with the controversies of Presbyterianism in the 1950's and Schaeffer's growing disenchantment with much of the "separated movement". Schaeffer's own personal crises is also brought up in some of these letters. Part Two is "Spiritual Reality in Daily Living". Here we find letters to people, mainly former L'Abri students, who are struggling with sin, psychological problems, spiritual growth, health issues, the meaning of life, etc. Part Three is "Spiritual Reality in Marriage, Family, and Sexual Realations". Here, as the title implies, the letters focus on marriage, relationships, family, and sex. I'm impressed with these letters and throughout them you will find great "take home" tidbits (although some of them may seem quite familiar to you if you've read more than a couple of Schaeffer's books). Some of the letters are dated to the times they were written in, but that is to be fully expected in a book of letters. I've also learned a lot from his method of corresponding, and I feel I'm better equipped to respond to different situations myself. For these and many other reasons, I highly suggest that you check out this book! I don't necessarily agree with every single thing Schaeffer said, but then again, if I did that would be scary! I found the letters helpful, challenging, and found I could agree with the vast majority of what he says. I do have one complaint. The book is filled with Schaeffer's apologies for not writing in a timely manner. It gets tedious after a while. I realize they are a genuine part of his correspondence and removing them would make the letters choppy and incomplete. But, still, they slow down the reader. Understandably, Schaeffer was a very busy man. Sometimes I wonder how he was able to manage this extensive correspondence! He lived from 1912 to 1984. He wrote over 20 books. He ran L'Abri, a very busy ministry in Switzerland. He toured Europe and America. He had cancer. He had children with health concerns. But thank God he wrote these letters (both for the sake of those to whom they were addressed and for the sake of the people who read them now). And thank you, Lane T. Dennis, for editing such a great book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike Jorgensen

    I didn't necessarily choose to read this but would gladly do so again. It was assigned for my theology of ministry course and I enjoyed it end to end. Scaheffer, while being one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century, was able to be pastoral, vulnerable, honest, and caring with anyone who wrote to him. He is certainly a far cry from many celebrity pastors that we are accustomed to seeing nowadays. I didn't necessarily choose to read this but would gladly do so again. It was assigned for my theology of ministry course and I enjoyed it end to end. Scaheffer, while being one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century, was able to be pastoral, vulnerable, honest, and caring with anyone who wrote to him. He is certainly a far cry from many celebrity pastors that we are accustomed to seeing nowadays.

  8. 4 out of 5

    John

    Francis Schaeffer (1912-84) was a pastor, author, philosopher and lecturer best known for his books and film series and for founding, with his wife, Edith, L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, with outposts today scattered throughout the world. These letters are divided into three categories. The first section deals with the spiritual crisis and renewal Schaeffer went through in the early 1950s. The second section explores what spiritual reality means in the context of daily life. The third deals wi Francis Schaeffer (1912-84) was a pastor, author, philosopher and lecturer best known for his books and film series and for founding, with his wife, Edith, L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, with outposts today scattered throughout the world. These letters are divided into three categories. The first section deals with the spiritual crisis and renewal Schaeffer went through in the early 1950s. The second section explores what spiritual reality means in the context of daily life. The third deals with specific questions regarding marriage, family and sex. What emerges in these letters that isn't necessarily apparent in other places is the pastoral concern Schaeffer had for his correspondents. Many are responses to letters written from individuals who had stayed at L'Abri, and in these responses Schaeffer always tells the correspondent how much he and Edith love him or her. He often writes that he wishes they could be talking over coffee instead of by mail. Most of the letters aren't very long, but they respond to questions in detail. This is true of letters responding to people who had questions based only upon reading his books as well as to those he knew personally. The care he obviously took in writing these letters is astonishing given the enormous amount of correspondence that must have come his way and the demanding schedule he faced. He sometimes mentions being months behind in correspondence. There's evidence he was up late at night writing a response, or urgently addressing a question after having just returned from a lecture tour. This also had to be demanding for at least one other person, because it appears all of his letters were dictated to someone acting as secretary. Many of these letters are great examples of obeying the biblical admonition to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Schaeffer never compromises his understanding of biblical truth. But he writes with even greater compassion when telling his correspondent what s/he probably doesn't want to hear. The letters were edited, mostly to protect the privacy of Schaeffer's correspondents. The brackets and ellipses can be a bit distracting, but they don't detract (much) from the content. Reading them is a good way to get a glimpse of the heart as well as the mind of Francis Schaeffer.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Greg Baughman

    These letters contain much valuable insight and are a model of pastoral care and careful, nuanced, fatherly advice. Divided into three sections dealing with the beginnings of faith, growth in faith, and contemporary issues, the structure makes sense and gives the reader insight into Schaeffer's thought and the application there of. The letters were a joy to read, but without an index and having been compiled by a very heavy handed editor, the book is not quite as useful or insightful as it shoul These letters contain much valuable insight and are a model of pastoral care and careful, nuanced, fatherly advice. Divided into three sections dealing with the beginnings of faith, growth in faith, and contemporary issues, the structure makes sense and gives the reader insight into Schaeffer's thought and the application there of. The letters were a joy to read, but without an index and having been compiled by a very heavy handed editor, the book is not quite as useful or insightful as it should have been. Being published so close to the events in the letters, the concern for protecting the identity of the correspondents is admirable, but the level of redaction rises to the level of distraction. Overall a valuable read. Three and a half stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wade

    This is just what it sounds like: it’s a collection of personal correspondence from Francis Schaeffer to friends and people who had been with him at L’Abri and other people whom he had never met but wrote him with questions. It’s divided into three parts, the first two of which are more spiritual and theological, the final section is on marriage and family and sex and homosexuality and divorce and so on. The first two sections are a bit slow, but the final section is excellent and he handles som This is just what it sounds like: it’s a collection of personal correspondence from Francis Schaeffer to friends and people who had been with him at L’Abri and other people whom he had never met but wrote him with questions. It’s divided into three parts, the first two of which are more spiritual and theological, the final section is on marriage and family and sex and homosexuality and divorce and so on. The first two sections are a bit slow, but the final section is excellent and he handles some very serious issues with extreme care and excellent practical Biblical feedback.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Doug Dale

    Francis Shaeffer's writing has always been illuminating and encouraging to me. Reading these letters written during his life allowed me to see him practically apply what he wrote about elsewhere in his counsel to the people who were writing to him. Francis Shaeffer's writing has always been illuminating and encouraging to me. Reading these letters written during his life allowed me to see him practically apply what he wrote about elsewhere in his counsel to the people who were writing to him.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Seph

    Human, direct, loving, kind letters from my dead mentor to people with real questions. I like this book; it made me really love Schaeffer as a person. Good bathroom literature. :-)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barry Walton

    Very helpful look into the way an experienced and thoughtful pastor answered a multitude of difficult and personal questions.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charis

    this is one that sits by my night stand for occasional reading...i feel that it shows a side of schaeffer that we dont normally see

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    I had never studied the Schaeffers. I feel like I am starting with a new mentor in Francis!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Excellent.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cody Alan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  20. 5 out of 5

    HG

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  22. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alison

  25. 4 out of 5

    FrancisSchaefferStudies

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Byerline

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chris Chambers

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peter Bringe

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ken Mcafee

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zach Couture

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