He Is There and He Is Not Silent Part IV: The Christian Answer in the Area of Epistemology -- By: Francis A. Schaeffer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 129:513 (Jan 1972)
Article: He Is There and He Is Not Silent Part IV: The Christian Answer in the Area of Epistemology
Author: Francis A. Schaeffer

He Is There and He Is Not Silent
Part IV:
The Christian Answer in the Area of Epistemology

Francis A. Schaeffer

[Francis A. Schaeffer, Director, L’Abri Fellowship, Huemoz, Switzerland.]

[Editor’s note: This is the final article in the series entitled, “He Is There and He Is Not Silent,” which were originally given as the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary. The first three articles have appeared in Bibliotheca Sacra, CXXVIII (April-June, 1971), 99–108, (July-September, 1971), 195–205, and (October-December, 1971), 300–15 respectively. This article is greatly shortened from Dr. Schaeffer’s lecture, but it will be given in full in the author’s book He Is There and He Is Not Silent to be published in 1972 by Tyndale House in the United States and by Hodder and Stoughton in Britain.]

The dilemma of twentieth century philosophy began with the problem of nature and grace as it was brought forth in the high renaissance. Rationalistic and humanistic men, as brilliant as they were, could never find a way to bind nature and grace together in a unified view of the world. Nature in their discussion involved man and the natural cause-and-effect world. Grace involved the heavenly forces and how these unseen forces affected the world. Nature involved the body; grace involved the soul. Eventually the nature-and-grace discussion came to the problem of particulars which were in the area of nature and universals which were in the area of grace. Reality was divided into an upper and lower story situation.

The Reformation was very different from the high renaissance because the Reformation never had a problem of nature and grace. This is really a tremendous distinction. The conflict between nature and grace arose as a problem out of the rationalistic, humanistic renaissance, and it has never been solved. Christianity did not have a problem at the Reformation which the Reformers wrestled with and solved. No, it was not this. There just was no problem of nature and grace in the Reformation because the Reformation had

revelation. The Reformation had verbal, propositional revelation, which would not allow a dichotomy between nature and grace.

In the Reformation and the Judaistic-Christian position in general, we find that God is there and that He has spoken. He has spoken first about Himself, not exhaustively but truly. Secondly, He has spoken about history and the cosmos, not exhaustively but truly in propositional, verbalized revelation. The Reformers had no nature and grace problem on the basis of what God said. They could view the world as a unity. Rationalism could not find an answer, but G...

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