The Mark of the Christian
- Product Review (submitted on April 11, 2011):
Francis A. Schaeffer the Christian theologian-philosopher wrote this small book back in 1970 but even after four decades it still has timeless, relevant truths for the Christian today. He begins this book with Jesus’ exhortation in John 13:33-35 that his disciples should love one another. Love, Schaeffer demonstrates is the unique quality of the true Christian life that should be evident in their lives. This and this alone is proof of their relationship with the Lord Jesus. He who fails to love has not been truly changed by the gospel message.
At first glance this teaching sounds very simple but Schaeffer explains that this truth is in contradiction against our human self-absorbed depravity. Prior to our redemption by Christ’s sacrificial love we are unable to love others at it does not come natural since it goes against our human nature.
The most important thing that Schaeffer says in this work is what he calls The Final Apologetic. If we as Christians do not love each other, than the world will say that God did not send Christ as the gospel proclaims. Within the framework of the Final Apologetic, we as Christians have a responsibility to live the gospel and in such a way that the dying and hurting world may see it and seek after it. Schaeffer then concludes this short book (p. 204) by saying:
“What then shall we conclude but that as the Samaritan loved the wounded man, we as Christians are called upon to love all men as neighbors, loving them as ourselves. Second, that we are to love all true Christian brothers in a way that the world may observe. This means showing love to our brothers in the midst of our differences-great or small-loving our brothers when it costs us something, loving them even under times of tremendous emotional tension, loving them in a way the world can see. In short, we are to practice and exhibit the holiness of God and the love of God, for without this we grieve the Holy Spirit. Love-and the unity it attests to-is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus was sent by the Father.”
I highly recommend this work of Schaeffer’s to anyone as it is profound in its simplicity but deep in biblical truth. It a great read and the audiobook by Christianaudio has Robertson Dean’s narration which is a great addition in that his voice with strong clarity conveys the true essence of Schaeffer’s classic work on Christian love. If you've never read Francis Schaeffer this is a great introduction and a must read for all people.