Bite size chunks of ‘He is there and He is not silent’.

Posted: June 8, 2006 in Book notes:'He is there and He is not silent'., Theo/Philo

Dr[1]. Francis Schaeffer.jpg

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984), a Christian Theologian and Philosopher, has been someone who has influenced me on and off since I was 15.I think part of the reason he has stuck around in my head for so long (steady I am not that old!)Is how very different his approach to the big questions we are all trying to answer or avoid answering, was. He not only spoke like someone who could ‘see’ further into the distance than most and time has proven him correct with many of his insights. He tried (imperfectly as he would admit) to live out his Christianity through setting up a community known as Labri (French for shelter) ( This remains to this day and has grown in number and influence.

Out of the many books Schaeffer wrote, the first three are considered core, they are called: ‘The God who is there’, ‘Escape from Reason’ and ‘He is there and He is not silent’. I have just finished reading ‘He is there and He is not silent’. With this I am starting a series of bite-sized posts looking at ‘He is there and He is not silent’. I’m assuming no prior knowledge, so be warned. The most immediate queestion is why should I be bothered with Philosophy, (don’t you need to be dead and Greek?)Schaeffer said:No man can live without a world-view;therefore,there is no man who is not a philosopher’ in a similar vein several thousand years earlier,in book 1 of ‘Metaphysics’ Aristotle wrote ‘all men by nature desire to know.An indication of this is the delight we take in our sense;for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves;and above all others the sense of sight.For not only with a view to action,but even when we are not going to do anything,we prefer seeing (one might say) to everything else.The reason is that this,most of all the senses,makes us know and brings to light many differences between things.’ We all have an opinion about life,our life and the world we find ourselves in.Our opinions are often unthinkingly caught like the the cold virus from our enironment,from the time and culture we live in.

Why does it matter ? Isn’t this an ego game of one-up man ship? I don’t think so,worldviews affect the way we behave,and the last hundred years have tragically shown how destructive an incoherent inaccurate or poorly applied worldview can be to whole countries and generations.

So here goes with the first chunky bite…

The first chapter is entitled: The Metaphysical Necessity.

Two questions come to mind straight away: what is metaphysics and why is it Necessary?‘
Meta’ is a Greek word meaning ‘after, with’ it refers to going beyond or above something. Metaphysics is concerned with looking at reality from above but not apart from nature-it seeks to produce a working logical model of the world.So what is a necessity? A necessity can be described as a foundational fact that is true in all situations. Necessity is analogous to the notion in astrobiology that extra terrestrial life (if there is any to be found anywhere in the universe) must be based on water, this is the universal solvent. There are laws regarding life that must be the same where ever In the universe we go, this is a necessity., without these laws no life would exist. So a metaphysical necessity could be described as answers to questions without which we could not construct a coherent working logical model of the world.Ok this is dangerously close to not being Bite sized so more later regarding what these metaphysical necessities are, according to Schaeffer.




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