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

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  29 ratings  ·  9 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, 272 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
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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
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
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
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.
Thomas A Wiebe
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.
Sep 10, 2014 Jeremy marked it as to-read
Dad recommended this.
Jan 28, 2010 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.
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!
A respectful and even-handed look at an influential evangelical leader.
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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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