Schaeffer On Sex Today -- By: Daniel R. Heimbach

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 24:2 (Spring 2007)
Article: Schaeffer On Sex Today
Author: Daniel R. Heimbach


Schaeffer On Sex Today

Daniel R. Heimbach

Professor of Christian Ethics
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27588

Introduction: What Schaeffer Saw Coming

In 1970, Francis Schaeffer wrote that he believed America was heading for “revolution with repression” aimed at removing the influence of biblical morality in the culture. He warned that Christians should “be getting ready and talking about issues of tomorrow and not about issues of 20 and 30 years ago, because the church is going to be squeezed in a wringer.”1 Then in the eighties Schaeffer announced that in, America,

The freedom that was once founded on a biblical consensus and Christian ethos has now become autonomous freedom, cut loose from all constraints. . . . The titanic freedoms which we once enjoyed have been cut loose from their Christian restraints and are becoming a force of destruction leading to chaos. And when that happens, there really are very few alternatives. All morality becomes relative, law becomes arbitrary, and society moves toward disintegration.2

He predicted, even though modern man believed that everything— including his own humanity—was explained by the impersonal, plus time, plus chance, that the culture would not tolerate such a meaningless view of life very long. It would be intolerable Schaeffer said because,

Man has aspirations; he has what I call mannishness. He desires that love be more than being in bed with a woman, that moral motions be more than merely sociological something-or-others, that his significance lie in being more than one more cog in a vast machine. . . . On the basis of modern thought, however, all of these would simply be an illusion. And since there are aspirations which separate man from his impersonal universe, man then faces at the heart of his being a terrible, cosmic, final alienation. He drowns in cosmic alienation, for there is nothing in the universe to fulfill him.3

Schaeffer saw, by denying that human significance, morality, and law have any real basis, that modernity was creating a fatally hollow culture, and men would be driven to insist on something more. Something cosmic—something spiritual—must fill that void, and there are only two possibilities. It could either be filled on God’s terms with biblical truth, or it could be filled on man’s terms with something very contrary. Schaeffer thought it would soon be filled by some “ism” offering to satisfy the basic human need for spiritual significan...

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