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What Francis Schaeffer Constantly Had to Remind Himself of When Doing Apologetics

Francis Schaeffer, writing over 50 years ago:

As I seek to [move a man toward the logical conclusions of his presuppositions], I need to remind myself constantly that this is not a game I am playing.

If I begin to enjoy it as a kind of intellectual exercise, then I am cruel and can expect no real spiritual results.

As I push the man off his false balance, he must be able to feel that I care for him. Otherwise I will only end up destroying him, and the cruelty and ugliness of it all will destroy me as well.

Merely to be abstract and cold is to show that I do not really believe this person to be created in God’s image and therefore one of my kind. Pushing him towards the logic of his presuppositions is going to cause him pain; therefore, I must not push any further than I need to.

—Francis Schaffer, The God Who Is There (1968), in Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy (Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1990), 138.

J. I. Packer once offered a tribute to Schaeffer, called “No Little Person.” His description of Schaeffer’s manner should be the aim of every evangelist and apologist, indeed, every disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ:

There was no guile in it, no party narrowness, no manipulation, only the passionate persuasiveness of the prophet who hurries in to share with others what he himself sees.

If you want to read Schaeffer, Crossway has been redesigning and retypesetting a number of his classic works.

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