It seems like nobody really knew what was happening until it happened. With seemingly lightning speed, court cases, corporate memos, and unexpected political candidates began pushing Judeo-Christian ethics to the outskirts of political discussion. Any perspective that advocated godly sexuality, personal responsibility, or true civil liberty became anathema almost overnight. What is the driving force behind this extreme change and what should Christians do about it? This is the central question that Francis Schaeffer answers in A Christian Manifesto.
Schaeffer begins his manifesto by detailing the core problem of modern day secularism. His special labor is to show that the war between a Godly government and a God-hating government is not waged primarily over each issue, nor even the total sum off all the issues. Rather, the war is won or lost at the worldview level.
The worldview, or ideological starting point, which has pushed much of Western civilization in the past century is the primary cause for the widespread adoption of homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion, and evolution as positive moral facts. When Schaeffer wrote A Christian Manifesto in 1981, many things on this list were just emerging or gaining significant ground in legal battles. But today, we are seeing the inevitable end of the “Material-energy, chance concept of reality” which Schaeffer carefully proves is the culprit behind the moral decay. What we see today is the effect of what Schaeffer prophetically wrote about in A Christian Manifesto.
As any good manifesto must have, Schaeffer includes not merely the problems he sees, but also the solutions. And as the title suggests, these solutions are rooted in the Christian Bible, that is, the Word of God. Schaeffer masterfully navigates the murky waters of civil disobedience, lesser magistrates, and persecution. It is these topics and more that make this book as important today as when it was published in 1981.
Christians have a holy obligation to seek the welfare of the city in which they live. But we have not only the obligation, but the holy law of God and the grace of Jesus Christ to seek the welfare of our nation, our city, and our neighbor. And as Schaeffer argues, the war will be won through Christian obedience, persistence, and sacrifice.
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Konrad Holden is a college student with plans to pursue a Master of Divinity and pastoral ministry in the future. He lives in Kansas City, Kansas with his wife, Ashley.