Book Review: ‘A Christian Manifesto’ by Francis A. Schaeffer

'A Christian Manifesto' by Francis A. Schaeffer The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

In his 1981 book, ‘A Christian Manifesto,’ Francis Schaeffer waxed eloquent on what many in our day consider too political an application of Christian faith and Biblical teaching, particularly for the public square.

He talked of John Witherspoon, for instance, the first president of the college that would eventually become Princeton University, as well as a Scottish presbyterian minister, as well as a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

So also, Schaeffer quoted Revelation 3:2, in relation to the American Church, and its general indifference to good governance in the late 20th century.

“Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.”

Writing a mere 8 years after the U.S. Supreme Court made Roe v. Wade the “law of the land” in 1973, Schaeffer demonstrated and argued persuasively in A Christian Manifesto – that the Christian who reads their Bible, as well as Church history generally, as well as American history especially, must conclude some very important things about the liberty and responsibility of God’s people, relative the proper view and role of good government, which are not widely enough appreciated or admitted in our day.

A believer’s political positions must be informed by the conviction that God is our supreme authority, with human authority necessarily submitted to what The Bible prescribes, commands, prohibits, and promises. 

Put another way, the communists have their manifesto. So, too, the humanists have theirs. The Christians, therefore, must also have a manifesto, and do, in the Word of God, and the faithful testimony of 2,000 years of saints who precede us, particularly since the Protestant Reformation, and the founding of the United States of America.

Be it known what a manifesto really is, after all. As Merriam-Webster defines it: “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.”

Looked at in that way, how can Christians not declare publicly our intentions, motives, and views. If our intentions, motives, and views are informed by God’s Word, and the testimony of 2,000 years of Christian forbearers, and if we believe these to be true and good, we must announce them publicly with the utmost care, skill, diligence, and reverence for God, and silence is not an option compatible with either faithfulness or obedience.

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