Preface to True Spirituality – Francis A. Schaeffer

Preface to True Spirituality

By

Francis A. Schaeffer

       …In 1951 and 1952 I faced a spiritual crisis in my own life.  I had become a Christian from agnosticism many years before.  After that I had become a pastor for ten years in the United States, and then for several years my wife and I had been working in Europe.  During this time I felt a strong burden to stand for the historical Christian position, and for the purity of the visible church.  Gradually, however, a problem came to me—the problem of reality.  This had two parts: first, it seemed to me that among many of those who held the orthodox position, one saw little reality in the things that the Bible so clearly says should be the result of Christianity.  Second, it gradually grew on me that my own reality was less that it had been in the early days after I had become a Christian.  I realized that in honesty I had to go back and rethink my whole position.

       We were living in Champery [Switzerland] at the time, and I told Edith that for the sake of honesty I had to go all the way back to my agnosticism and think through the whole matter.  I’m sure that this was a difficult time for her, and I’m sure that she prayed much for me in those days.  I walked in the mountains when it was clear, and when it was rainy I walked backward and forward in the hayloft of the old chalet in which we lived.  I walked, prayed, and thought through what the Scriptures taught, as well as reviewing my own reasons for becoming a Christian. 

       As I rethought my reasons for becoming a Christian, I saw again that there were totally sufficient reasons to know that the infinite-personal God does exist and that Christianity is true.  In going further, I saw something else which made a profound difference in my life.  I searched through what the Bible said concerning reality as a Christian.  Gradually I saw that the problem was that with all the teaching I had received after I was a Christian, I had heard little about what the Bible says about the meaning of the finished work of Christ for our present lives.  Gradually the sun came out and the song came.  Interestingly enough, although I had written no poetry for many years, in that time of joy and song I found poetry beginning to flow again—poetry of certainty, and affirmation of life, thanksgiving, praise.  Admittedly, as poetry it is very poor, but it expressed a song in my heart which was wonderful to me.

About Steven R. Cook, M.Div.

Steven is a Christian educator. His webpages communicate evangelical Christian doctrines and topics. Steven earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2006 and pursued doctoral work in Expository Preaching and Systematic Theology. His articles are theological, devotional, and promote a biblical worldview. Studies in the original languages of Scripture, ancient history, and systematic theology have been the foundation for Steven’s teaching and writing ministry. He has written several Christian books, dozens of articles on Christian theology, and recorded more than three hundred hours of audio and video sermons. Steven worked in jail ministry for over twelve years, taught in Bible churches, and currently leads a Bible study each week at his home in Arlington, Texas.
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