Item description for He Is There And He Is Not Silent by Francis Schaeffer & Charles Colson...
Overview Tyndale celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of this twentieth-century spiritual classic with a special commemorative edition featuring new foreword by Chuck Colson and introduction by Dr. Jerram Barrs, director of the Schaeffer Institute. He Is There and He Is Not Silent discusses fundamental questions about God, such as who He is and why He matters.
Publishers Description Tyndale celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of this twentieth-century spiritual classic with a special commemorative edition featuring new foreword by Chuck Colson and introduction by Dr. Jerram Barrs, director of the Schaeffer Institute. "He Is There and He Is Not Silent" discusses fundamental questions about God, such as who he is and why he matters.
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Studio: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 1980
Publisher Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN 084231413X ISBN13 9780842314138 UPC 031809014134
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Reviews - What do customers think about He Is There And He Is Not Silent?
Coming In Loud And Clear Dec 24, 2006
I'll admit it, I've had this book for almost a year and haven't been able to finish it. The fact it's only 100 pages doesn't help my cause, but in my defense I've tried to finish it a time or two...and I've been really busy. There is no doubt about it, if you aren't used to deep philosophical thinking while reading this book will put you to the test, but it's totally worth it.
This book is a Christian classic, and it deserves every bit of the distinction. Schaeffer is a master of getting to the root of the problem and illuminating the solution so clearly that when he comes to his God-ward logical conclusions you are left dumbfounded. The amazement doesn't come because his answers to some of the toughest problems in life are so blatantly scandalous, but due to the fact they are so simple you are left wondering why you didn't get to the same deductions he did on your own. There is one simple truth that applies to all of Schaeffer's writings, by the time you are done reading, you will understand the problems and their solutions.
In this brief, but weighty book the founder of L'Abri fellowship tackles the utter necessity of Gods existence. His argument for this inevitability is the problem of epistemology, the study of how we know and how we know we know.
Schaeffer points out, with great (albeit sometimes longwinded and repetitive) accuracy that without God there is no foundation for anything. He starts this process by pointing out that "no man can live without a worldview; therefore there is no man who is not a philosopher." He then shows that today's postmodern thought that says objective truth doesn't exist leaves us only with chaos. He states "Sometimes people try to bring a little bit of order; but as soon as you bring in a little bit of order, the first class of answer - that everything is meaningless, everything is irrational - is no longer self consistent, and falls to the ground." There must be meaning, but where do we find it?
The author's conclusion is that only Christianity provides the answer to the epistemological necessity of every human being. "If modern science could be born on the basis of there being a reasonable God, which makes it possible to find out the order by reason, should we be taken by surprise that the knower who is to know and the object which is to be known should have correlation? It is exactly what we should expect. Because we have a reasonable God who made them in the first place there is a reasonable correlation between the subject and the object."
This book is not easy, but with much patience...and perseverance comes great reward. If you have never even heard of presuppositional apologetics this is a good book to get an idea of how such an apologetic works.
Favorite quotes: "All men constantly and consistently act as though Christianity were true."
"Every man is created in the image of God; therefore, no man in his imagination is confined to his own body."
"The only answer in the area of morals, as true morals, including the problem of social evil, turns upon the fact of God's being there."
Classic on Christian Epistemology Jun 14, 2006
Schaeffer's book was a godsend to me, answering and echoing the questions that rang in my mind when trying to figure out what it really means to be a follower of Christ, and whether or not being one entails leaving reason behind in favor of revelation. This work goes a long way in answering the questions of HOW I know what I know; and exposing presuppositions about the nature of the universe that shape our thinking. It prepared me for many onslaughts against a reasonable faith, showing that there is another way other than accepting either the dissolution of absolute truth in postmodernism or the anti-reason/anti intellectualism of certain branches in fundamentalism. This is an excellent help to anyone experiencing a personal paradigm shift in Jesus' direction, or as a primer to exploring and examining competing worldviews.
Time to Think May 5, 2006
To my mind there are a lot of alienated, thinking Protestants (not that they would use the "P" word)-- far outside of or on the fringes of the institutional church (whatever that is) who nevertheless have active minds, open hearts and hungry souls. Once there was a retreat area in the Swiss alps called L'Abri or "The Shelter" run by Francis and Edith Schaeffer that these seekers would be drawn to. Outside of that hands-on culture Schaeffer's books seem somewhat out of context. InterVarsity Press, which published most of them, once displayed them in its own rotating in-store rack, but now they are lost on the shelves (if they're in stores at all) amid much more viscerally-aimed, issues-oriented books about the crisis of the week or the conspiracy of the month. Not much for the thoughtful reader.
(Re)enter Francis Schaeffer, probably the author that seeking readers would like to seek out. Should they do so, however, one immediately finds two dozen or so books, with no idea where to start or how they're supposed to go together. Reading the many negative reviews, it seems that this book is especially misunderstood. But to my mind it remains one of his best.
This is the third book of a trilogy which begins in a non-obvious way with a tiny but densely written book called Escape From Reason. That book briefly traces the history of the split between nature and grace, lamenting it and, as many have pointed out, wrongly attributing it to St. Thomas Aquinas, who also lamented it. The second volume is a larger book called The God Who is There, which can be read on its own and which many readers have found quite engrossing.
This third book, which also stands on its own, is a very brief examination of epistemology (how we know and how we know we know). I took a philosophy class once which studied the exact same questions and I used to bring up Schaeffer's points in class. The instructor thought those were valid and interesting arguments, and I would suggest that the reviewers who don't like this book either have no taste for philosophy or don't like Schaeffer's style, or both.
Either impersonal forces created us as personal beings, or a personal creator did so. The other choice, that we are somehow impersonal beings resulting from one of the above options makes no sense but has nevertheless been argued by behaviorist B.F. Skinner in Beyond Freedom and Dignity and elsewhere. Schaeffer helps us see that there are really very few answers to this dilemma, and like Pascal, we must wager on one or the other. This book could be titled "Think Along with Schaeffer". For those who'd rather read the results of his thinking, they are laid out more simply in one of his best books, True Sprituality.
A well-intentioned but often inscrutable treatise Jan 7, 2002
Schaeffer was a sincere, devout, extremely intelligent, and supremely compassionate man. Having a heart that was broken over the nihilism of the 1960s-70s, he tried valiantly to appeal to the reason of the cynics who were privately hopeless. But his reach often exceeded his grasp. Many of his conclusions are more than valid, but his means of arriving at them are hampered by oversimplification couched in (ironically) complicated technical language and repetition. The last chapter of "He Is There" (which is the true crux of the book and to which all the others serve as laborious prologue) is brilliant. Released by itself as a booklet, it would have been successful. The rest could have been distilled to a preface.
For all that, Schaeffer is still a fascinating man who left a lasting imression on the intellectual seekers of the hippie and anti-establishment culture. He accepted them without judgment but also remained true to his own beliefs. It is important to at least familiarize oneself with this significant Christian mind and heart.
pretty good, almost excellent Oct 22, 1999
I would consider suggesting this text to the skeptic who wants visceral "proof" but will settle for virtual evidence via philosophical reasoning. Those who contrast Schaffer to C.S. Lewis are unfair; the former relies on inductive reasoning, while the former emphasizes deduction. Does Schaffer over generalize? Perhaps when passing judgement on the humanities in their historical contexts, but the reader must realize that Schaffer is by no means a postmodernist. He is, paradoxically, an abstract thinker of absolutes.