- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; 30th Anniversary ed. edition (September 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 084231413X
- ISBN-13: 978-0842314138
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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He Is There and He Is Not Silent 30th Anniversary ed. Edition
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From the Back Cover
This book will deal with the philosophic necessity of God's being there and not being silent, in the areas of metaphysics, morals, and epistemology.
About the Author
Kate Reading is the recipient of multiple "AudioFile" Earphones Awards and has been named by "AudioFile" magazine as a Voice of the Century, as well as the Best Voice in Science Fiction & Fantasy in 2008 and 2009 and Best Voice in Biography & Culture in 2010. She has narrated works by authors as Jane Austen, Robert Jordan, Edith Wharton, and Sophie Kinsella. Reading has performed at numerous theaters in Washington D.C. and received a Helen Hayes Award for her performance in Aunt Dan and Lemon. "AudioFile" Magainze reports that, "With subtle control of characters and sense of pacing, Kate s performances are a consistent pleasure.."
Colson, former special counsel to President Nixon, is Chairman of the Board of Prison Fellowship. Colson is a highly regarded author, speaker and Christian leader. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Schaeffer argues for three basic areas of philosophical thought: metaphysics (being or existence), morals (the dilemma of man), and epistemology (the problem of knowing). Philosophy and religion are essentially devoted to the same questions, namely, metaphysics, morals, and epistemology.
Philosophy is concerned with either an academic subject or a person's worldview. It is the later, that Schaeffer is concerned with in this volume. Schaeffer contends that every man is a philosopher of sorts because it is impossible for humans to live without a worldview.
There are three basic answers to the question of metaphysics. The first answer is that "everything that exists has come out of absolutely nothing." Naturalism's answer suggests no energy, no mass, no motion, and no personality. This answer is, as Schaeffer calls it, "nothing, nothing."
The second answer is that everything had an impersonal beginning. This answer leads automatically to reductionism. "Beginning with the impersonal must be explained in terms of the impersonal plus time plus chance," writes Schaeffer. This answer poses many problem. But the two primary problems fail to answer the major philosophical question: the need for unity and the need for diversity.
The third answer is the biblical answer. The third answer is the only rational and satisfying answer. This answer suggests that we must begin with a personal beginning. And to have an adequate answer of a personal beginning, one must have a personal infinite God, and personal unity and diversity in God (found the holy Trinity).
Schaeffer concludes: "The reason we have the metaphysical answer is because the infinite-personal God, the full Trinitarian God is there and he is not silent."
There are only two basic answers to the question of morals. The first: Everything had an impersonal beginning. The is the answer of atheism. Schaeffer never minces words. He writes, "Beginning with the impersonal, there is no explanation for the complexity of the universe or the personality of man." When one begins with the impersonal, one eliminates the possibility of morals or ethics.
The second answer is the biblical reality of a personal beginning. Man was created by an infinite-personal God. Man sinned or "made a decision to change himself" as Schaeffer notes.
"The starting point," writes Schaeffer "to the answer (of the question of morals) as with metaphysics is the fact that God is there and he is not silent."
Schaeffer concludes by setting forth the problem concerning epistemology and the epistemological answer.
The epistemological problem concerns the tension between nature (particulars) and grace (universals). When nature becomes autonomous, the universal is lost with the hope of giving the particulars meaning. The problem is that when nature becomes autonomous, nature "eats up" grace. Schaeffer argues that when we are left with only particulars, we become lost in the areas of metaphysics, morality, and epistemology.
The epistemological answer was summarized by the Reformers. The Reformers did not allow for a dichotomy between nature and grace. The reason: they had verbal propositional revelation. The Reformers were vocal about the reality of God's existence and the reality of his revelation. Schaeffer popularized this view in the title of his book, He is There and He is Not Silent. God has spoken truly about himself. However, he has not spoken exhaustively about himself.
Schaeffer urges readers to come face to face with two gigantic presuppositions - "the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and the uniformity of natural causes in an open system and in a limited time span." Ultimately, readers must determine which worldview fits with the facts.
Schaeffer summarizes, then, the basic presuppositions in historic Christianity.
1. God is there.
2. God is the infinite-personal God who has made man in his image.
3. God made man a verbalizer in the area of propositions in his horizontal communications with other men.
4. God communicates to us on the basis of propositions, viz, he is there and his is not silent.
Schaeffer maintains, "Under the unity of the apex of the infinite-personal God, in all of these areas we can have meaning, we can have reality, and we can have beauty."
He is There and He is Not Silent is an essential work of apologetics. It should be required reading for every Bible College/Seminary student. Schaeffer put his finger on the essential issues of the day - even in the early 70′s and especially in our day.
In less than 100 pages, Schaeffer distills the essences of the major modern philosophical movements into their most basic parts in the areas of metaphysics, morality, and epistemology--the three critical factors that shape what a person believes and how they will act. He then describes the logical ends of the competing views--such as the utter hopelessness of knowledge stemming from existentialism or the whirling, self-defeating frenzy of what he calls "linguistic analysis." All of the systems Schaeffer examines fall apart on some point, or lead to despair or cynicism.
The reason, Schaeffer points out, is all these systems exist to fill a void that is only completely and adequately filled by Christianity. Each exists not beside Christianity, but against it. Schaeffer shows the necessity of belief in a God who is not only there--existing--but not silent--he not only created the world but is constantly involved with it.
This book reads like all the best parts of How Should We Then Live? without the baggage of misrepresentation and oversimplification that plagued the other book (though he does take a more benign dig at Dante and Thomas Aquinas at one point). While there is, admittedly, a certain amount of simplification required of an 80-page book that treats modern philosophy's problems, the broad-strokes structure of the book is in no way a liability. He is There and He is Not Silent is an apologetic masterpiece. This is one book which I'll read again.