Item description for C. S. Lewis & Francis Schaeffer: Lessons for a New Century from the Most Influential Apologists of Our Time by Scott R. Burson & Jerry L. Walls...
Overview This guide is an introduction to the thought and apologetics of C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer, accessing their strengths and weaknesses and applying them to today's context. The book stands as both an excellent view of the work of these two important figures and as a fresh proposal for apologetics at the dawn of a new century.
Publishers Description In some ways, they could not be more different: the pipe-smoking, Anglican Oxford don and the blue-collar scion of conservative Presbyterianism. But C. S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer, each in his unique way, fashioned Christian apologetics that influenced millions in their lifetimes. And the work of each continues to be read and studied today. In this book Scott Burson and Jerry Walls compare and contrast for the first time the thought of Lewis and Schaeffer. With great respect for the legacy of each man, but with critical insight as well, they suggest strengths and weaknesses of their apologetics. All the while they consider what Lewis and Schaeffer still have to offer in light of postmodernism and other cultural currents that, since their deaths, have changed the apologetic landscape. This incisive book stands as both an excellent introduction to the work of these two important figures and a fresh proposal for apologetics at the dawn of a new century.
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Scott R. Burson is assistant professor of religion at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. Formerly, he served as director of communications at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Burson has had articles published in several periodicals, including The Lamp-Post of the Southern California C. S. Lewis Society.
Reviews - What do customers think about C.S. Lewis & Francis Schaeffer: Lessons for a New Century from the Most Influential Apologists of Our Time?
To Reach The World - Lewis and Schaeffer Jun 16, 2006
These authors set out to compare and contrast (more contrast) between two of the most arguably influential apologists of the 20th Century. They begin with a bio-sketch of these two men. While many other reviews, probably coretly note a more favorable presentation of Lewis, in this chapter, Schaeffer is presented very favorably. The next chapter, correctly presents the views on salvation these two held - commonalities and of course, the differences. Schaeffer did hold to a very forenisic atoning theory (Anselmian idea of atonement as a legal act also known as the penal substitutionary view)), while Lewis, I would assert does not discard that view, but sees and postulates a rooted, traditional Christian approach, that one is transformed into a Christlike person.
The authors do show a little bias in favoring Lewis here, but then again, at least Walls is not a Calvinist and show the legal act in viewing salvation is just not as important to him. But they are kind to Schaeffer here.
They also discuss the different apologetic approaches of these individuals and they evaluate their positions for Christiain accuracy. Yes, the authors do lean much more toward Lewis' ideas and thgeological positions, but I think they correctly review, explain and critique Schaeffer. Schaeffer is also given much credit for establishing La'Bri and in his desire to help otehrs wrestle with Christian truth.
Of course, these types of books have weaknesses, but overall, these authros do a good job and show the views of these two Christian gaints fairly.
A poor book by poor scholars... Apr 1, 2005
This book is an example of how not to write a fair evaluation of two great thinkers. The authors worship Lewis as if he were the apologist who could think no wrong, while they condemn Schaeffer as an ignorant fundamentalist who was just about always wrong in some shape or form. I enjoy reading the works of both Lewis and Schaeffer. I have never found their views to be mutually exclusive as Burson and Walls lead their readers to believe.
If I could summarize this book in one word it would be "biased." Burson and Walls have obvious Armenian tendencies, which might have led them to cling so firmly to Lewis' backside.
Use this as a Tool to Examine Your Own Faith Dec 22, 2000
I selected this book to read after reading Hugh Hewett's "The Embarassed Believer". I wanted to get a better feel for what apologetics is about. What better place to go than to the two greatest apologists of the 20th century.
Burson and Walls certainly have a point of view, but I do not think that it detracts from their comparisons of Lewis and Schaeffer. I found that it pushed me to hold up my own beliefs to the same analyses they used on their subjects. I learned where I have strengths and where there are gaping holes in my understanding of the faith.
The territory covered is quite expansive, many of the areas of belief were outside of any regular theological discussions by lay leaders in my church experience. As a Christian called to lay ministry, I have found it important to carefully examine my own beliefs about the nature of the relationship between God and Man before trying to take the "good news" to those outside of the church.
As most comparisons of human-beings are, there are flaws. We are all flawed, but we all have something to say about who and what God is and does in the world. This book gives us a framework to build and articulate our own understanding of what faith in Jesus represents in the millenium ahead.
Solid Writing, Suspect Conclusions Aug 21, 2000
I must admit that I found this book intriguing and valuable, however, only as a sense of somebody else's opinions on two influential apologists. Many of the authors' conclusions and critiques on Lewis and Schaeffer were well presented, except for one thing. One got the sense as the book was read, that the authors were very proficient and setting up straw men to knock down or using statements somewhat out of context to support their own theological views. While I have no problem using other's statements to support your own theological views, I do have a problem with writing a book under the guise of a critique of apologists in order to support and strengthen your own theological slant.
I can't say that their theological slant was that much different then my own. There are differences, but I found myself agreeing with the bulk of their presentation theologically. However, I do feel that they may have done Schaeffer and Lewis an injustice by oversimplifying their positions. The book is worth reading, but not for a completely accurate depiction of Lewis and Schaeffer's positions.
Someone ought to analyze Burson's and Wall's heterodoxy May 26, 2000
While presenting a generally concise and accurate summary of much of what Lewis and Schaeffer wrote and taught, the authors (Burson and Walls) seem to have a "hidden agenda" of damning Francis Schaeffer with "faint praise." The authors reject Schaeffer's Reformed views on Predestination (not surprising given that both are professors at a leading theological seminary with a decidedly Arminian tradition). They promote a view of human freedom that is quite consistent with a generally Arminian perspective on such matters. Moreover, the authors seem to leave the door open for the "Openness of God" and other such postmodernist and heterodox viewpoints of God's omniscience...
Burson and Walls also question Schaeffer's views on Inerrancy and reject his views affirming the substitutionary atonement. Instead, they seem to embrace a "limited errancy" view on the doctrine of the inspiration of scripture. They also emphatically embrace a view of salvation and eternal damnation that includes Purgatory and postmortem evangelism.
Overall, this book is worth reading to see how far the "Great Evangelical Disaster" has progressed since Francis Schaeffer's passing in 1984. These two leading evangelical professors can promote heterodoxy with little fear of confrontation or protest from the evangelical academic community. Schaeffer has long been despised by of the evangelical academic community because he exposed their accommodation to the twin idols of academic freedom and academic respectability. May God raise up a generation of Francis Schaeffer's who can bypass the evangelical academic backwaters for the fresh streams of Kingdom service--unencumbered by accommodation to modern idols...