Posted by: Billy Marsh | September 17, 2008

Francis Schaeffer Conference @ SEBTS

Yesterday I received a promotional postcard in the mail for an upcoming conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary: Francis Schaeffer, A Mind and Heart for God: Engaging the Culture for Christ. I was very excited to see that Akin and SEBTS have wisely recognized the great relevance and necessity of reviving Schaeffer’s ministry for today’s confused Christian culture. It will be hosted on November 6-8, 2006 and the scheduled speakers are Os Guinness, Udo Middelmann, Ranald Macaulay, Jerram Barrs, and Dick Keyes. Even though it is unlikely that I’ll be able to breakaway and attend in person, I would encourage everyone who is able, to try and make the event.

I’ve been supporting and promoting The Francis Schaeffer Book Club here at SWBTS for about 3 years now, and still the group is functioning mainly off of its original members. Yet, a great deal of my conversations with peers and friends are characterized by how Christians should respond to, interact with, or engage in the culture. And when I make certain comments and suggestions, they ask where did I get that idea from, to which I always respond, “Francis Schaeffer.”

People want the ideas, but don’t want to read the man. As always, I cannot overstate the importance of Schaeffer’s ministry and the Lord’s work in and on his life, even since his death in 1984. However, I believe that students take him for granted and instead would rather read or listen to Ravi Zacharias, Alister McGrath, Charles Colson, or James Sire. But what most students fail to realize is that each of these men constantly pay tribute to the profound and lasting effect of Schaeffer’s ministry on their lives. From John Piper to Al Mohler, and even to Paige Patterson (who encouraged all students to read Schaeffer in a class I had with him last semester), you will find that the breadth of Schaeffer’s ministry is extremely wide, and I believe it is so for the main fact that he sought tirelessly to demonstrate that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and everthing, and that includes culture.

More than 20 years after his death, the legacy left by Francis Schaeffer lives on.

The issues Francis Schaeffer addressed at L’Abri, which means “The Shelter” in French, are issues Evengelical Christians are still dealing with today. In the 1950s, L’Abri opened its doors to thousands of travelers seeking information and guidance on a number of topics, most relating to faith and culture.

Even today, the innovative evangelism style used by Schaeffer is renowned for its ability to reach out to the culture. This style, which he called taking the roof off, explored what he saw as the middle ground between evidentialism and presupposationalism.

Join us November 7-8, 2008, for an exciting time of learning about Schaeffer’s legacy and the profound impact it had and continues to have, even on the world today.

Cost for this conference for guests is $125 (with banquet) or $75 (without banquet). Student cost will be $100 (with the banquet) or $50 (without the banquet).

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary



  1. Billy,
    I was first exposed to Schaeffer in church when I was at OU- we watched the film series How Should We Then Live. I think I first read the Trilogy of Escape From Reason, The God Who Is There and He Is There and He Is Not Silent in college, but it may have been in the Army. Next I read A Christian Manifesto and A Time For Anger, but then I stopped reading…I really need to get back and start from the beginning. But just reading the Trilogy really excited my faith and gave me a thirst for how the Faith could interpret and then speak to the culture. That has stayed with me ever since.

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