Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Escape from Reason: A Penetrating Analysis of Trends in Modern Thought” as Want to Read:
Escape from Reason: A Penetrating Analysis of Trends in Modern Thought
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Escape from Reason: A Penetrating Analysis of Trends in Modern Thought

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,799 ratings  ·  117 reviews
How did we get here? And where do we find a remedy? In this modern classic, Francis A. Schaeffer traces trends in twentieth-century thought and unpacks how key ideas have shaped our society. Wide-ranging in his analysis, Schaeffer examines philosophy, science, art and popular culture to identify dualism, fragmentation and the decline of reason. Schaeffer's work takes on a ...more
Paperback, 123 pages
Published December 6th 2006 by IVP Books (first published 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, apologetics
Schaeffer writes that man's desire for autonomous freedom began with Aquinas's theology which argued that though man fell in Eden, his intellect did not. This created a system in philosophy that argued that man's reason was autonomous--meaning free and independent of any constraint. This opened the door to later philosophers to build philosophic arguments independent of God. But the problem is that man's desire for autonomy cannot be reconciled to the constraining forces in this world. Through r ...more
Alex Szatmary
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: book people, intellectuals, apologists
I love Schaeffer, the person, but I totally disagree with half of what he says. His review of the western intellectual history is quick and accessible, and his great insight in this book is to point to Aquinas' fault of placing reason "upstairs"--assuming that human reason is immune to the fall.

While, factually, Schaeffer, seems to present most thinkers accurately, he does not fully get modern philosophy. Yes, he gets the despair of modernity; however, his defense of Biblical Christianity as a r
Amy Edwards
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a slender volume and in that way a quick overview of the history of philosophy with regard to God and man, grace and nature, freedom and nature, and the non-rational and the rational. First published in 1968 (the edition that I read), many of these ideas are incorporated into Schaffer's How Shall We Then Live? book, which was published later. To read this book now, however, in the context of an American culture that is rapidly aiming its fiercest attacks at Christians, is to read a proph ...more
Apr 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Escape from Reason is an easy book to read, which I liked. It was written for the common man or woman. This is the first book that I have read by Schaeffer and I like it for what it tries to do.

Schaeffer spends a majority of the book tracking how societies world view has been changing and who were some of the primary influences/people that caused this. He starts with Aquinas and proceeds from there. He covers, art, music, poetry and more.

The important part of this book is near the end when he ti
Nov 11, 2009 added it
Shelves: religion, philosophy
highly elucidating apologetics through a historical delineation of philosophy, existentialism, and art from Aquinas' time (the beginning of divorce between Grace and Nature) up to nihilism and the absurd.

recommended reading for anyone interested in why the last several generations have been part of a psychology of despair and where a lot of christianity today has gone wrong in representing itself. this is not a watered-down tract like most christian works, nor is it a guidebook to conversion. it
Mark Jr.
Dec 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
I have heard others cast doubt on the particulars of Schaeffer's analysis in sweeping books like these. I haven't read enough Aquinas, de Sade, Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Foucault, Malraux, Heidegger, etc. to say. But Schaeffer's overall synthesis—his many different upper- and lower-story diagrams—seem right to me. If indeed he's right, the overall analysis, the big picture, may be more important than the particulars. It does seem as if Western man has done just what Schaeffer says: we've remov ...more
Douglas Wilson
May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Excellent. Also read in November 1980.
Nikhil Gupta
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Check Visit:

Francis Schaeffer has been widely recognized as one of the twentieth century’s greatest Christian apologists. Francis August Schaeffer (1912-1984) was an American Christian theologian, philosopher, apologist, and Presbyterian pastor, as well as the founder of the L'Abri community in Switzerland.
In this book Schaeffer has two noble aims; first to analyze the evolution of philosophy from the Christian Middle-Ages up to the Atheist existentialism
Evandro Junior
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lembro da primeira vez que tentei ler esse livro, há alguns anos. Resultado: frustração. Anos depois, retomo a leitura e (para a minha surpresa!) capto bem o propósito da obra. Schaeffer aborda historicamente as ideias agnósticas acerca da realidade última. Os homens modernos enterraram a razão através dos seus devaneios irracionais, relegaram a razão de ser a um mero "salto no escuro" e o fizeram com fama de erudição acadêmica através da filosofia, psicologia e sociologia. A tristeza é que isso ...more
Tim Ponygroom
People tend to love this book or hate it. There are fans of every philosophy, and many fans not only cheer for their team, they boo the other teams. Instead of being for or against, I hope the reader sees this as a tour through some powerful ideas that have been important to Western cultural development. Any understanding we gain from this book improves our perspective. If nothing else, perspective is what this book is all about.

I read this while taking a college course in Psychology, but it wa
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read this a few years back, and it was SUCH an eye-opener in terms of how (atheistic) philosophical assumptions have changed over time, and how society has moved from the 'upper room'. (I think that was the term he used) Yep, this was a really thought-provoking read but only in the sense that it gave me even more reasons to back up my belief in how atheism, as a way of life and world-view, does not work, and has not over centuries in which it has changed and evolved at the same time that society ...more
Julio  Padilla Mozo
Pobre Tomas de Aquino, Schaeffer se manda con todo contra él, pero cabe rescatar la línea apologética de Schaeffer para tal acción.

El Libro muestra muchas cosas que como cristianos descartamos, sin embargo hay mucha terminología nueva que se aprenderá.
Bruno Matias
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sensacional! É Schaeffer, não é?
Jacob Aitken
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: apologetics
In Schaeffer’s other works he shows you step by step on how to “take the roof off” of a stoned-up hippie. He doesn’t do that in this one. This is more of a Dooyeweerdian (though he never acknowledges it) deconstruction of the nature-grace dualisms. I think he succeeds, though there are a few howlers. Along the way he gives brilliant insights, but the frustrating thing is that they are all in passing and are never developed.

Most of the book is a summary of He is there and He is Not Silent and The
Well...'Escape from Reason' lived up to its name. If the book was not fifty or sixty years old I would be inclined to write book against all the garbage it spouts. The entire book is predicated on the 'fact' that the bible is a single unit, as if there was never a council of Nicaea, as if the Gnostics never existed, as if the Nag Hammadi scriptures never existed...As if there were no Apocryphal books of the bible. Whilst there were certain philosophers whom I had little experience in and reading ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book may be better than my 2 star rating, but I just really struggled to get into it. It started off strong, but by the end I just wanted it to be over.
My goal in reading this was to see how society went from an almost purely mystical and somewhat unified paradigm of reality to our current rational, post modern existentialism. I guess it sort of did that, but certainly took the scenic route. I spent a lot of time googling to try and make sense of things that once I did understand them I di
Rafael Monchez
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
"The Reformation had some tremendous results, and made possible the culture which many of us love- even though our generation is now throwing it away.
The Reformation confronts us with an Adam who was, using twentieth-century thought-forms, an unprogrammed man- he was not set up as a punch-card in a computer system. One thing that marks twentieth-century man is that he cannot visualize this, because modern man is infiltrated by a concept of determinism. But the biblical position is clear - man c
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I will read it again.

Overlap with The God who is There, but I appreciated reading them back to back so as to get a better picture.

I especially appreciated how he showed how Christianity is the only religion or philosophy which allows the individual to start with themselves and work outward. He goes on to explain that even though we can start with our own selves, we are finite and so much look to the Infinite to find meaning. But we can start with ourselves. This is helpful in conversing with ind
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good beginners book on philosophy. It's easy to read and short, yet still covers a good bit of material. The book was written to emphasize the existentialist thought now prevalent in our culture and how we need to understand this in order to share the absolute truth of God in a relativistic world.
Andres Valencia
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Los capítulos van estrechamente ligados, si te pierdes en el principio no entenderas el por que se hablan de los "saltos" , lo de "arriba y lo de abajo", pero creo realmente que empezare a leer mas Francis A. Schaeffer y a escritores que me enseñen a ejercitar una mente intelectual sementada en las Escrituras. Espero volverlo a leer pronto.
David Sarkies
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians & Philosophers
Recommended to David by: My Dad
Shelves: christian
A rehash of Schaeffer's Earlier Works
11 August 2013

but test everything: hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil: 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

Wow, it took me a grand total of four hours to read this book, which must be a record for me, or more probably it has got to do something with it being a short book covering much of the same ground that Schaeffer covered in his book The God Who is There, and also with me having read it before. However, the other thing is that now that I have
Wes F
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short/dense & excellent expose by Schaeffer on the emptiness of modern philosophies and where they all end up logically arriving if you follow them. Shows where you end up when you veer off the historical written revelations we have about God & His character in the Bible--records recorded in real time & space. Cogent reasonings.
Rod Innis
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book of Christian apologetics.
Kevin Loy
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite similar ideas to CS Lewis' 'Abolition to Man'.

Good read.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal
It was interesting.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tracing the way modern man thinks is not new, but the info was different thab others that make similar arguments.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: commentaries
Abmael Araújo
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um livro essencial para entender a Arte e a Filosofia da perspectiva cristã.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I will probably give it more stars later once I process it. This one will make you think.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity
  • The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog
  • Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction
  • Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture
  • Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World
  • Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview
  • Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith
  • Defense of the Faith
  • Christian Apologetics
  • Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom
  • Addicted to Mediocrity (Revised Edition): Contemporary Christians and the Arts
  • The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
  • How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil
  • Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview
  • Can Man Live Without God
  • The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
  • A Shot of Faith (to the Head): Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists
  • The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World
Francis August Schaeffer was an American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. He is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L'Abri community in Switzerland. Opposed to theological modernism, Schaeffer promoted a more historic Protestant faith and a presuppositional approach to Christian apologetics which he believed would answer the questions of ...more
“People today are trying to hang on to the dignity of man, but they do not know how to, because they have lost the truth that man is made in the image of God. . . . We are watching our culture put into effect the fact that when you tell men long enough that they are machines, it soon begins to show in their actions. You see it in our whole culture -- in the theater of cruelty, in the violence in the streets, in the death of man in art and life.” 25 likes
“We cannot deal with people like human beings, we cannot deal with them on the high level of true humanity, unless we really know their origin-who they are. God tells man who he is. God tells us that He created man in His image. So man is something wonderful.” 12 likes
More quotes…