"It is possible to be a Christian without showing the
mark, but if we expect non-Christians to know that we
are Christians, we must show the mark."
Christians have not always presented an inviting picture
to the world. Too often we have failed to show the beauty
of authentic Christian love. And the world has
disregarded Christianity as a result.
In our era of global violence and sectarian intolerance,
the church needs to hear anew the challenge of this book.
Decades ago Francis Schaeffer exhorted, "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."
More than ever, the church needs to respond
compassionately to a needy world. More than ever,
we need to show the Mark.
- You would think Dr. Schaeffer is writing about today's Church and not 1970
An Amazing Book, as with Christian Manifesto you would think Dr. Schaeffer is reviewing today's Evangelical Church.
This Book bluntly reaffirms what Scripture points out, that the trouble in the Church as in the Synagogue of the first Century is a Leadership that bears not Marks of being the LORD's. Amazing to think Dr. Schaeffer went home in 1985 and these books are not only relevant for 2015, but one might think required reading
- The Final Apologetic Is Love
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.
- In a soft baritone Robertson Dean...
In a soft baritone Robertson Dean captures the essence of Schaeffer's classic message on authentic Christian love. It’s loving behavior, Schaeffer believes, the mark of love, that sets Christians apart from those who don't know Christ. It's also love in action that draws nonbelievers to Christ because they want to know how and why people can act with such love, often in extraordinary circumstances. Dean’s voice reflects Schaeffer’s sincerity as he reminds listeners that many Christians don't show the mark of sacrificial Christian love, empowered by the Holy Spirit. He concludes with the thought that Christians must show Christ’s mark of love if they are to be recognized by those who need them. G.D.W. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine