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Escape from Reason (IVP Classics) Paperback – January 6, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
Personally, I've come across Schaeffer quite late in my Christian career. It's a great pity I haven't found him much earlier in my Christian walk when I needed such encouragement and conceptual engagement. Until recently - more precisely, until Plantinga's encouragement and strong leadership - conservative Christian intellectuals demonstrated an inherent inability to engage popular culture. Lack of confidence and a certain disorientation with respect to limits and conceptual permissions characterised a lot of apologetic Christian thought in the 20th century. Why? Simply because most prominent Christian and ex-Christian thinkers, as part of the same culture, did not feel a burden to defend their faith. Instead, they felt the need to explore their faith in a critical way.Read more ›
If you have just a little background in philosophy or the history of theology, and you look carefully through the footnotes of any of Schaeffer's books, it becomes fairly obvious that his reading was restricted almost entirely to secondary sources. He didn't read Aquinas so much as books about Aquinas. He seems to have been especially indebted to books by Dutch Reformed scholars. Most of his discussions of the great figures in the history of the church are travesties of their actual thought.
An example: Kierkegaard. Most of my graduate work both at Yale and Chicago was on Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard is a widely misunderstood scholar, but virtually everyone who has studied his work at any length will acknowledge that he was not a theological innovator, that he in no sense was trying to undermine Christian faith, and that he was utterly orthodox in his thought. It is impossible to find a single orthodox Christian doctrine that Kierkegaard attacks. In no sense is Kierkegaard an opponent of Christianity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Probably could have been more expansive but a great one day read! Recommend it highly!Published 2 months ago by John W. McQueen
I found the book extremely confusing. It did not really help me in my search for god.Published 2 months ago by Ed H
INTERESTING VIEW OF MANKIND AND HIS HISTORY AS RELATES TO MORAL STANDARDS, HUMAN MISTAKES AND HOW THE MISTAKES HAPPENED. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kathy M. from Stockton, CA.
Francis Schaefer brings the Biblical truths to understanding in easy yet thorough form.Published 11 months ago by Joan