Escape from Reason Paperback – Jan 1 2007
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Francis Schaeffer has been widely recognized as one of the twentieth century’s greatest Christian apologists. In his book Escape from Reason, Schaeffer proposes to help the reader to interact, on a more meaningful level, with the current culture. Why? “We must realize that we are facing a rapidly changing historical situation, and if we are going to talk to people about the gospel we need to know what is the present ebb and flow of thought-forms. Unless we do this the unchangeable principles of Christianity will fall on deaf ears. And if we are going to reach the intellectuals and the workers, both groups right outside our middle-class churches, then we shall need to do a great deal of heart-searching as to how we may speak what is eternal into a changing historical situation.” In order to help the reader to properly understand his current cultural situation, Schaeffer proposes to explain why people think the way they do today, and how we got to this point. Unless we understand the cause, we will be unable to know the effect fully. Schaeffer proposes, as a starting point, that the entire contemporary situation finds its starting place in a number of doctrines that he claims were proposed by Thomas Aquinas, namely: a distinction between nature and grace, and a partial fall of humanity by which humans retained some form of autonomy from their creator. “What is wrong? Again, it goes back to Thomas Aquinas’s insufficient view of the Fall which gives certain things an autonomous structure. When nature is made autonomous it soon ends up by devouring God, grace, freedom and eventually man.Read more ›
Schaeffer sees the true beginning of the humanistic Renaissance in the work of Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). Aquinas' dualistic Grace/Nature scheme was useful in many ways, but its critical flaw was in failing to recognize man's fallen intellect along with his fallen will. Aquinas saw man's intellect as essentially undamaged by the Fall. This had the unfortunate consequence of setting up man's intellect as autonomous and independent.
Aquinas adapted parts of Greek philosophy to Christianity, perhaps most importantly (and with the most negative consequences) the dualistic view of man and world as represented by the Grace/Nature split. As Schaeffer stresses, the main danger of a dualistic scheme is that, eventually, the lower sphere "eats up" the upper sphere. Another way to say the same thing is, once the lower sphere is given "autonomy," it tends to deny the existence or importance of whatever is in the upper sphere in support of its own autonomy.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a crash course on the development of Western culture and Christian history... Where is has come from and where it is now. A quick but potent read.Published 21 months ago by Shane A Mattenley
First, I have to express appreciation for Schaeffer. When I was in high school, I read through all of his books with great interest and avidity. He (along with C. S. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2001 by Robert Moore
A penetrating analysis of trends in modern thought. We now realize Schaeffer was writing about Postmodernism -- as a Christian well ahead of his time. This is truly classic. Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2001
Schaeffer's understandings of Kierkegaard and Barth are right on the money. His "rationalism" (i.e. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2001
This is a rather small book. Including the index, it has only 96 pages. But the contents of 'Escape From Reason' delivered on its claim as a penetrating analysis of trends in... Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2000 by WTM
"Escape from Reason" is a clear and straightforward look at modern thought and reason or the lack thereof. It is a powerful argument for the validity of christian ideas. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2000 by Aaron Wallis
I was given this book by a Christian who tries to convert me by claiming that Christianity is the only rational choice for those who think. Read morePublished on Sept. 7 1999
Schaeffer has unlocked the thought proccess of western society. His understanding and research is tight. Read morePublished on July 22 1999