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A Christian Manifesto

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,174 ratings  ·  141 reviews
It happened so subtly that few people noticed at first. Little by little, morality and freedom started to crumble. It came first in government, in education, in the media--and finally it began to shake our families and our own lives. Something fundamental has changed. Law and government no longer provide a foundation of justice and morality but have become the means of lic ...more
Paperback, Revised, 157 pages
Published October 1st 1981 by Crossway Books (first published June 1981)
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An Idler
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmm, what to say. Love Schaeffer's thought process, insight, and writing style. Love the man. This past year I've been trying to figure out my position on the relationship between church (which church?) and state, and the role of Christians as private persons in Christ living as citizens in the state - specifically the US, heavily influenced as it is by centuries of Judeo-Christian culture.

I've been driven toward Two Kingdoms by the shallow and left-leaning public policy views of certain celebri
...more
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic read that is sadly necessary to combat those who downplay this belief instead of respecting it as a legitimate philosophy on life.
David Sarkies
May 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody Really
Recommended to David by: Some guy at church
Shelves: christian
A typical rant about the collapse of American moral society
1 June 2013

After reading the first couple of chapters of this book I have come to understand why it is that Schaeffer's son has broken with the groups that his father was involved in and moved over to the Christian Left. While I do generally like Schaeffer's writings, and also his ability to connect with people from various backgrounds, this book, at first, felt like a rant against the direction that US society is heading, and in partic
...more
Aaron Ventura
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good. The sections on civil disobedience, force, and protest are timely. He does fumble the ball when it comes to religious liberty and theocracy. Schaeffer is of the mind that church/state relations of the Constantinian variety were a huge mistake; he is wrong. Despite referencing Rutherford's Lex Rex many times, Schaeffer wants a free market of ideas in which Protestantism can win by persuasion alone and not force. Here he fails to apply his own principles (Christ's Lordship) to what a Ch ...more
Tony Smith
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read this work more than once. Schaeffer's basic arguments and philosophy hold up well over time. I would say his thoughts and logic are being proven correct by present culture and circumstances. Cultural and political changes do not make truth untruthful. They simply make identifying true truth more difficult to discern due to all of the verbal and other detritus used to try to hide the truth. Schaeffer does a good job separating truth from the clutter.
Yibbie
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics
I did like parts of this book, but I was rather disappointed by most of it. I like how he identified humanism as the root of our culture’s disintegration. It just could have gone more into depth as to the only real substitute is a personal relationship with Jesus. Instead, it talks about how we Christians should fight for the maintenance of Christian morals in the public square almost as if we could convince the world to want to live by them. So the final part of the book is about using any mea ...more
Ryan Hawkins
Not one of Schaeffer’s best. Nevertheless, still an interesting read.

The good: I loved his overarching point—which he emphasized right away in the first chapter, and which emphasized once again to conclude the book—that the biggest problem in our government today is the change from a Christian worldview (even if many who held it weren’t actually Christian themselves) to a materialistic view of final reality. He explains throughout the book, but especially at the bookends, how this necessarily im
...more
Christian Barrett
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Francis Schaeffer was thinking well ahead of his time when he first penned this work. In this short volume he highlights the depth of depravity in man, and how that will be played out in society of Christians don’t act. When Schaeffer first wrote this he focused on this issues of abortion, the humanist movement regarding cultural Marxism, and the sexual revolution. I found myself shocked that these issues are the same that we are fighting against in the church today. The most convicting part of ...more
John Dube
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely terrific! Every Christian should read this book “for such a time as this.” Schaeffer builds on his previous work and applies his “total reality” principle to government. Where are the men and women of our day who will take such a bold stance against humanism and the flood of secularism??? “Wake up! Strengthen the things which remain, that are about to die, for I (Jesus) have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God” (Rev 3:2).
Joshua Samsoondar
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Schaeffer has some brilliant writing here, still relevant almost 40 years later.
Patrick S.
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was my first taste of Schaeffer and I liked what I got pretty much. To be fair the book is a bit dated as it is commententing on 1982 political themes and situations. But the influx of humanism was starting to peak in the 1980s and we can see today the political climate and world view of the state and humanism from when it peaked.

This was my first political book that started with a worldview assumption. The worldview here being of Christianity. Schaeffer makes his point for Christianity (of
...more
Gus Stevens
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
This "manifesto" is the philosophical justification for the Moral Majority that seemed plausible in the 80s but, when read in 2012, the parochial and selective nostalgia of the book becomes quite obvious. The author pines for a religious revival that will manifest itself in the American legal system, particularly in reference to abortion, but he refuses to concede that what he is advocating is a theocratic system or in any way an establishment of a state religion.

In fact, Schaeffer would prefer
...more
Gregory
Mar 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Excellent! Prophetic (written in 1981).

From the beginning: "The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals."

Shows how the secular, humanist worldview is antithetical to the Christian worldview, and demonstrates the moral, political, and legal consequences which flow from each worldview.
Eric
Feb 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that book was the opposite of worthwhile.

I have GOT to stop adding books to my "to read" list based only on an interesting title!

While I'm at it, I'll go ahead and remove any other Francis Schaeffer books lying in wait on that ominous list...
Larry Taylor
Jan 29, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
if taken to its logical conclusion, we'd be blowing up abortion clinics behind pat robertson riding a white steed
Aaron
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the first half of his book, Schaeffer offers an excellent and important critique of the Secular Humanist State that has assumed control of these United States - and makes a compelling argument for how they were wrested from the hands of a generally Christian nation. The book is worth its weight in gold just for this criticism.

In the next half of the book, Schaeffer makes an argument for the use of force by Christians (as not only a constitutional right, but a moral obligation) in the face of
...more
Gary
Some disjointed thoughts:

There are some great principles set forth in here, and I agree with most of it, but somehow my high expectations were not realized.

I definitely welcomed discussion of Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex.

If I had read it in the 1980s (had I been old enough then to do so!) I think it would have struck me more powerfully. As it is, it is slightly dated now, and I feel the good folk at The Calvinist International and The Davenant Trust are offering a more developed reformational p
...more
Bradley Somers
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Schaeffer's manifesto is a call to action for those who hold a Judeo-Christian belief. The first part of the manifesto is to awaken us to the liberal humanism that was (now has) taking over western thought and law. The middle of the book deals with more specific cases and reasons for personal, or organizational resilience to the inhumanity of humanism; The last couple of chapters act as a summary and application that cuts across the last 50 years into our present age. The thought lines, and many ...more
Ben Perley
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, sharp primer on Christianity and civil disobedience. Almost as applicable now as when it was written nearly forty years ago.
Recommended.

QOTB:
“If there is no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the living God.”
Becky
First sentence: The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.

Worldview. Every single person has one, whether or not they know the scholarly name for their particular worldview or not. What is your worldview? Can you distinguish between the Christian worldview and the other worldviews that are battling it out for dominance? Can you distinguish
...more
Jessica
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think everyone, regardless of faith background, should read this just about immediately before America is fully overrun by totalitarianism, tyranny, and communism. Let us give future generations a blessing by arising now before America turns to full blown communism and persecution. Freedom is not typical worldwide. There are reasons for that, and we’re faltering quickly.
Jeremy
Adapted from this book. ...more
Daniel
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short read. Typically Schaeffer in its integration of philosophy, history, etc. I found his clarity on worldview and the totality of the modern worldview (the child of the Enlightenment and late 19th century) with the focus on this material vs the totality of the Christian worldview particularly helpful. Written in the early 80s, the wake of the Roe vs Wade is clear in the clarion call throughout against abortion. The book is essentially divided up into 3 or so segments: the competing worldvie ...more
Magda
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
From a writing standpoint, it's well-written. From a 'do I agree with it ?' standpoint, my feelings are mixed. All of his points are valid, yet with many of them I do not agree. Grossly speaking, it's a manifesto, inherently dogmatic as a genre. Easy to read, though.

I appreciated how Schaeffer pointed out that it is because of Jesus' death on the cross and his message of justice for all humanity that the US's political system has validity : justice is something fixed and equal for all, not based
...more
Bob Ladwig
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
People have mixed feeling about this book, I think because most Christians have a rather mechanical view of Romans 13 and the relation between the Christian and the state. It seems most Christians apply Rom 13 rather woodenly and fail to contextualize both Paul's day and ours. Schaeffer points out that the grounds for Christian disobedience to the state is much greater than just preaching issues and this is where most Christian wince. I found the book extremely helpful in forming and understandi ...more
Scott
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: citizens, Christians
This is a good book for anyone wondering how a Christian is to interact with the government. In some ways, it is dated because it was written in the early 80's, but it is amazing how much of what he discusses is coming to fruition.

I would recommend this book to everyone who is looking for a balanced understanding of how a Christian is duty bound to support and hold their government accountable.
Cheryl
Dec 24, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
I read this book in college and it was horrible. The writing was bad, the arguments lacked logical cohesion. I agreed with a lot of his positions (although not all), but the tone, style, diction, and syntax made it all but unreadable.
Patrick
Feb 03, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I'm not sure if I'll like this book or not, so I'm a little nervous to read it. :-) It was, however, only 50 cents at Goodwill, so I figure it was a bargain. ;-)
Douglas Wilson
May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Also read in December of 1981.
Rick
Aug 04, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is more of a call to action than his previous titles which I would characterize more as analysis and insight. Sure do miss his voice.
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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

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8 likes · 6 comments
“The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.” 27 likes
“If there is no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the living God.” 19 likes
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