Francis Schaeffer summarized his the entire book when he wrote, "To understand where we are in today's world–in our intellectual ideas and in our cultural and political lives–we must trace three lines in history, namely, the philosophic, the scientific, and the religious" (Schaeffer, 2005, p.20). Schaeffer is mainly stating that society is getting away from its Christians roots. He walks through instances in history where society has moved away from the principle teachings of the Bible. He believes that the problems in society are because individuals are ignoring the Christian principles that this world was built upon. He warns that this shift can have a catastrophic effect on how the world will look in the future.
Purpose of Text
The main purpose of Schaeffer's book is to explain to the world that society is heading down a damaged path. Society is continually moving towards a humanist ideal. This is a philosophy where the person is the center of everything in the world. Schaeffer seems to be hinting that society is putting the person ahead of the purpose, in life. That focus can lead us to idealize a single person or persona. When that happens, it could be disastrous for man-kind.
That path that society is heading down is leading towards an authoritarian rule. If we keep focusing on the individual, then we could become enamored with one human being. This will then allow one person to rule over everyone and everything in society. Schaeffer believes that this authoritarian rule will take away everyone's rights and freedoms that individuals throughout history have fought so hard to protect. He wants society to analyze the path that it is on and reconnect to the values of Christianity to alter the course.
There are two different intended audiences for this book by Francis Schaeffer. One intended audience for Schaeffer's book was the Christians. He felt that Christians should focus on spreading the word of God. Schaeffer worried about how Americans have moved away from the teachings of God. Christians should help reintegrate the lessons of the Bible into society. This is one way that the path towards destruction can be altered. The Christian believers have an obligation to help society realize its Christian roots and that can be done through their diligence in spreading the word of God.
The other intended audience for Schaeffer's book is the non-believers. Schaeffer hints to the fact that society's decline is a result of these non-believers. He points out how these people have coerced society to distance itself from the teachings of the Bible. By Schaeffer pointing out the possible end result of their actions, he is hoping that this book serves as a wake-up call. He is urging non-believers to change their ways before it is too late.
Thesis and Bias
The overall thesis to Schaeffer's book can be found in the first chapter. "To understand where we are in today's world–in our intellectual...