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Francis Schaeffer and the Shaping of Evangelical America (Library of Religious Biography)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) was probably the single greatest intellectual influence on young evangelicals of the 1960s and '70s. He was cultural critic, popular intellectual mentor, political activist, evangelist, Christian apologist, and the author of over twenty books and two important films. Along with his wife, Edith, he founded L'Abri, a loving community of intellec ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 3rd 2008 by Eerdmans
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Francis Schaeffer and the shaping of Evangelical America by Barry Hankins is not a new book. It was published by Eerdmans in 2008, but Im just now getting to it. It was a hard book to read. Schaeffer profoundly shaped my thinking as a young adult. The love with which the Schaefers received both European and American young people at LAbri (the Shelter) in Huemoz, Switzerland, was as powerful an apologetic for his conservative Christian faith as his tireless teaching. Although I visited LAbri only ...more
Mike Horne
Mar 18, 2017 Mike Horne rated it really liked it
This is an excellent look into the man who influenced the rise of the religious right (as a political movement). The book is fairly sympathetic, though finds much to criticize about Schaeffer. I remember watching his film How Should We Then Live at church. A must read for those interested in Evangelical America.
Jun 29, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it
Hankins, a historian at Baylor University, has provided an excellent, critical, but not unsympathetic, intellectual biography of L'Abri's Francis Schaeffer. We see here the journey of Schaeffer from fundamentalist to cultural critic and back again as he embraced, or rather was embraced by, the Christian Right.

Hankins seems ambivalent towards Schaeffer, on the one hand he recognises the impact he has had on evangelicals in helping them to be more culturally and intellectually aware and on the oth
Sep 01, 2010 Jonathan rated it liked it
Like many evangelical scholars inspired by Francis Schaeffer, Barry Hankins is obviously ambivalent about the quality of Schaeffer's work. He concludes, for example, that Schaeffer never actually read most of the philosophers he wrote about (getting his information about them instead from the European students he was trying to convert), shows that Schaeffer's books were ghostwritten from his notes and tapes, concludes that there were glaring problems with Schaeffer's logic, and implies that Scha ...more
Sep 01, 2008 Frederick rated it really liked it
Francis Schaeffer pointed modern evangelicals toward hospitality, reason, and political engagement. Although he accepted the Enlightenment's narrow definition of reason, reason has many more roads than this (as indicated by John 1:1).

Hankins's book is a well-written history that is especially noteworthy for being a product of the evangelical academic culture which Schaeffer inspired, even as he fought with them late in his life. This is the second Hankins history book that I've read and I'll be
Thomas A Wiebe
Jul 11, 2014 Thomas A Wiebe rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Even-handed biography of Francis Schaeffer by a fellow Evangelical which breaks Schaeffer's life into three major segments: Early and uncompromising fundamentalist, then gentle missionary to the young European intellectual, and finally leader of the politicization of Evangelical Christians and their problematic embrace of the modern U.S. Republican party. There is some discussion about this biography in part three of my review of Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live.
Becky Hintz
Jun 03, 2015 Becky Hintz rated it liked it
I'm amazed that a biography of the fascinating Francis Schaeffer can be so dull. There's a lot of information here, but it's just really, really dry. Most of the book is dedicated either to critical summaries of Schaeffer's works, or to blow-by-blow reports of his controversies with Christian leaders and scholars.
Aug 25, 2014 Bob rated it it was ok
The point of the book is to examine the life & ministry of Francis Schaeffer. I think the author often misses the point (although I do think he is trying to be fair & balanced)of what Schaeffer was trying to do. If you have read all of Schaeffer & want to know what critics have said this is a good place to pick up on most of the criticism, this book will have a limited audience.
Jun 25, 2009 Tracey added it
This seems like a very even-handed bio of Schaeffer. I appreciate the way Hankins moves through the various stages of Schaeffer's life and ministry, and recognizes both the pros and cons of his efforts.
Sep 10, 2014 Jeremy marked it as to-read
Dad recommended this.
Jan 22, 2013 Peter rated it it was amazing
A respectful and even-handed look at an influential evangelical leader.
Benjamin Sauers
Nov 09, 2016 Benjamin Sauers rated it really liked it
Hankins does a wonderful job leading us through Schaeffer's life and thought. A must read for those seeking to understand Evangelicalism in the 21st century.
Mar 28, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
So far, I can't put this book down! I'm on chapter 4 and am enjoying this biography by Hankins...more when I'm finished!
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"I came to Baylor because I wanted to be at a university that takes both teaching and research seriously and also promotes scholarship from a Christian perspective. With its J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies I have the resources I need to be a productive scholar and to train graduate students in both history and church-state studies."
More about Barry Hankins...

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