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The God Who Is There

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  5,343 ratings  ·  144 reviews
For over thirty years The God Who Is There has been the landmark book that changed the way the church sees the world. In Francis Schaeffer's remarkable analysis, we learn where the clashing ideas about God, science, history and art came from and where they are going. Now this completely retypeset edition includes a new introduction by James W. Sire that places Schaeffer's ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published September 16th 1998 by IVP Books (first published September 1st 1968)
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4.20  · 
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 ·  5,343 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Jacob Aitken
Nov 25, 2011 rated it liked it
I first read this book in 2002 and it was the primer that got me into apologetics and philosophy. From Schaeffer I moved to James Sire; from Sire to Douglas Groothuis, and from Groothuis to Cornelius Van Til. The book is quite exciting for the reader actually believes he will take these arguments and reclaim culture for Christ. Schaeffer offers a stirring vision on how the loss of God affects every area of life.

Unfortunately, the devil is in the details. Schaeffer fundamentally misrepresents ev
Lee Ferron
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Read this book! Schaeffer gives his unique analysis of philosophical, socio-cultural and theological trends over the last 300 years, emphasizing Christendom's inability to keep pace with the rapid (and sometimes confusing) changes. The Christian's solution: to engage the hurting person at the exact point where his epistemological foundation collides with his sense of despair. He fleshes this out practically in the final few chapters and Appendix.

I have yet to encounter a modern-day Christian who
David Shane
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
In "The God Who Is There", Francis Schaeffer explains that our world needs to know that GOD is THERE. God is really there - not as a helpful psychological construct but really, a real personality who is truly alive and acts and acted in real, verifiable space-time history as certainly as I sit here typing now. And "God" - the word is not up to our definition but refers to the God revealed in the Bible, this is the God who is there. In a culture that imagines an impassable chasm to exist between ...more
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic book! I wish I had read it in college. This was my first Francis Schaeffer book. I have read and been a fan of Nancy Pearcey (Author of "Total Truth" and "Saving Leonardo") who studied under Schaeffer. Though this book was written in 1968, the biblical principles Schaeffer covered in the book are relevant to today as we deal with postmodernism (i.e., the death of absolutism) and its ridiculous application in politics, art, everyday life.

Schaeffer's ideas, apologet
Tosh Demsey
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the most insightful and challenging books I have ever read. I had to reread some sections and consult the glossary for some definitions, but it was well worth the effort. Schaeffer discusses the shift in the philosophy that has had the detrimental effect of creating a dichotomy between faith and reason. Most people in contemporary society now view the spiritual and the scientific as mutually exclusive whereas our predecessors looked to discover a philosophy that tied the two together. Sch ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“We are surrounded by a generation that can find ‘no one home’ in the universe. If anything marks our generation it is this. In contrast to this, as a Christian I know who I am; and I know the personal God who is there. I speak and He hears. I am not surrounded by mere mass, not only energy particles, but He is there. And if I have accepted Christ as my Savior, then though it will not be perfect in this life, yet moment by moment, on the basis of the finished work of Christ, this person to pers ...more
Laura Urban
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is a crisis of thought. The world is thinking but they are coming to the wrong conclusions. Their beliefs are based on the impersonal and with out meaning. Christian beliefs are rational and defendable. We can see here is truth and here is why. We aren't used to disciplining our brains, ( why I struggled to read this book). I needed a glossary for the glossary, but the more I read the more I understood and I can't overstate the value of what is contained in it.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5. This was a struggle to get through. I think if my IQ were higher I would have enjoyed it more. Still was able to take away some good points.
Sean McGowan
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: apologetics
Classic. Great read!
Francis Schaeffer is a combination of intellect and compassion. In "The God Who Is There," Schaeffer does a brilliant job of communicating the importance of a logical worldview. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of personality and culture in the last chapter of the book. He stressed the importance of critiquing art through a biblical worldview without condemning the artist. All men are created in the image of God, just because an artist choses to use his creative skills to promote something ...more
Tim Kimberley
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The old saying goes the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today. This is the way I felt about finishing this Francis Schaeffer classic. How did I get a Th.M. in historical theology without reading this book? Well, I guess you can't read all the "must read" books at once. I'm really glad I'm now a student of Schaeffer and sitting at his feet. The God Who is There felt like a cutting edge book and not one written 30 years ago by a guy now in glory.

Os Guinness is on
Rod Innis
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great book of Christian apologetics.
I have finished reading it for the second time. I think that I have highlighted nearly a third of the book.
This is a very relevant book for all Christians. The theme is truth - and the truth that there is a God who is there and that He has communicated with man. We were made in His image with personality and therefore can and should relate to God personally based on truth. He clearly states that a personal relationship with is God is possible because Jesus
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can you have a ethical philosophy of life that is based in a metaphysical view that you reject as invalid? The obvious answer is no, but most of Western civilization has sought to live within this paradox for the past two centuries. It is Schaeffer's goal in this work to show how it is, at the end of the day, impossible to reject God yet still claim a moral standard that is based in Judeo-Christian roots.

Schaeffer shows how the absolutes of theism have been rejected in art, literature, music, an
John Carncross
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Schaeffer shares an anecdote about Paul Tillich that stuck with me. He relates how Tillich was asked in an interview if he ever prayed. Tillich said that he didn't, but that he meditates. I assumed that this was because Tillich doesn't believe in relationship with a personal god. I shared this anecdote with a friend, and she said that she was almost certain that he meditates on scripture.

What Tillich has to offer is less rich than orthodox Christianity, but it is important because he is able to
Herman Douma
Pleidooi voor een bijbels christendom onder afwijzing van moderne theologie, filosofie en kunst.
Schaeffer is oprichter van l’Abri Fellowship in de Zwitserse Alpen, van waaruit men sinds 1953 een orthodox-protestantisme aan de wereld verkondigt. Dit boek is een prachtige uiteenzetting van het faillissement van de moderne theologie, het “wereldse” existentiele denken, moderne kunst, muziek en film; en tevens een poging ‘de mens weer tot mens te maken’ door de redelijke en gefundeerde hoop van het
Dianne Oliver
May 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
I really appreciated his take on art, and literature and how they fit into our current mindset as moderns. Especially, his summary of Camus as I have just read a few of his books, and Leonardo dV's mindset. Eye opening to see how the shifts have taken place, and how much our placement on the time line of history affects our suppositions.While the first section of the book, on philosophy, was not of interest to me, I found the latter chapters very relevant. Mr. Schaeffer is willing to delve into ...more
Jim George
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Today after more that 40 years this book is as important as it was when it was originally written. In our post-Christian era Dr. Schaeffer’s insights continue to demonstrate how historic Christianity can confront the false philosophies of our day. Yet his logic and reasoning are simply written and easy to understand.
Steven Tyra
Aug 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everybody struggling to defend orthodox theology against postmodernism and "progressive" theology.
Schaeffer's diagnosis of our modern world is right on. I love his terminology, especially the "line of despair." There's really nothing I can say. This is a must read for anybody interested in Christian apologetics.
J.J. Richardson
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was very good, but it is much to digest. I will have to read again.
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful. Some of his examples are dated but his works are really helping me clarify how apologetics and evangelism are connected.
Nick Gibson
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Essential reading for any Christian interested in a philosophical apologia of the Biblical worldview.
Rich Cromwell
One of his essential classics. I need to read it again - it's been a long time since I first read it.
David Sarkies
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christians wanting an understanding of modern philosophy
Recommended to David by: Tim Earl
Shelves: christian
Schaeffer critiques modern philosophy
6 August 2013

Okay, the edition of this book that I read was published in 1990 which means that Schaeffer must have changed and updated it since its original publication. However, I suspect that despite a few additions to bring it up to date much of what he has written here is very much the same as the original publication. After reading a couple of pages of this book I suddenly came to understand that Schaeffer's writing, and fundamentalist stance, was nothi
Pamela Shropshire
Having just finished reading some C.S. Lewis, I thought I’d follow up with Schaeffer. Whereas in Mere Christianity, Lewis takes a conversational tone, Schaeffer delves into philosophy, psychology and sociology to present a more intellectual viewpoint.

I admit I know very little about philosophy and classical logic, so I kept Google handy while I was reading. Schaeffer’s main point is that until the late-19th and into the 20th century, Western civilization accepted the idea of absolutes - absolute
Sheryl Tribble
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Schaeffer's prose is clunky, and I have my doubts about how well he understands some other philosophers, but still a book worthy of consideration, IMHO. And if Schaeffer is a poor introduction to other philosophers, he has suffered his fair share of being misunderstood. In the book itself, and in its first appendix, Schaeffer makes it as plain as possible that this is not an apologetics work in the sense of Bill Bright's Four Spiritual Laws, where you go through the steps and, Shazzam!, salvatio ...more
Sammy Tiranno
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting apologetic that discusses the intellectual and cultural climate in light of modern mysticism and the “new theology.” Schaeffer describes a line of despair and relates man’s dilemma as to where he falls about the line, using particular examples among philosophy, art, music and literature.

Sec. 3, Ch. 3 touches on morals, and how Christianity says that man is now abnormal as a result of his moral fall; and I couldn’t help but think of the line of poetry from Fulke Greville that is o
Steven Siswandhi
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At times his depictions of famous artworks and philosophers are too broad and simplistic. Nevertheless, Schaeffer's classic work stood the test of time and his credential as one of the most influential and prophetic among 20th century Christian Reformed philosophers is quite justified. I admire his ability to weave together myriad strands of culture and thought into a coherent narrative. Enjoyed it, even though I disagree with some of his conclusions, especially his tendency to portray non-Chris ...more
Jesse Miller
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A part of Francis Schaeffer's great trilogy of Christian philosophy and apologetics, "The God Who Is There" is focused on contrasting the Christian system of thought with modern humanism (also labeled rationalism). The contrast is described through an examination of presuppositions, the historical radical change from a basic understanding of antithesis to that of synthesis, which formed the basis of modern rationalism, and finally by an overview of the Christian answer to modern humanism's exist ...more
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've heard much about Schaeffer over the years, but I normally don't read these types of book. I appreciate fiction, and for non-fiction, I enjoy memoirs and such. I read this book with a pencil and a dictionary. While the book is a bit dated, it hold true and tracing the way thinking has changed and how it has affected the culture through art, science and so on was insightful and helpful. I believe, as Schaeffer does, that Christianity's view of a living, personal God is the only comprehensive ...more
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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
“Regardless of a man's system, he has to live in God's world.” 17 likes
“In a fallen world, we must be willing to face the fact that however lovingly we preach the gospel, if a man rejects it he will be miserable. It is dark out there.” 8 likes
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