L'Abri Jubilee


L'Abri Fellowship, the network of study centers founded by Francis and Edith Schaeffer, will, in 2005, celebrate the 50th anniversary of its beginnings in Switzerland.

L'Abri (the word means "shelter") was established as a place for people "to seek answers to honest questions about God and the significance of human life." The Schaeffers, sent by the Bible Presbyterian Church to Europe as missionaries, just after World War II, sought to respond effectively to the cultural and spiritual trends in an increasingly secular continent. Students come for a few months and spend their days in study, helping with the practical work of the community, and engaging in conversation with the staff and fellow students.

Here's the L'Abri philosophy in a nutshell, from the webpage of L'Abri in Rochester, Minnesota:

The centrality of L'Abri teaching is that Biblical Christianity is true, and that it offers sufficient evidence to say 'it is the Truth'. It can be proclaimed and known without committing intellectual suicide or simply having to say 'just believe'. Because Christ is Lord of all life, Christianity speaks to all areas, not to only what might be called 'religious'. True spirituality is seen in lives, which, through Christ's redemption, are free to be fully human. Therefore, Christians can and should realize the implications and relevance of a Biblical worldview in the arts, sciences, politics, etc. If Christianity is 'the Truth', it will stand up to examination and provide satisfactory answers, and on this basis your questions will be taken seriously and addressed honestly.

World Magazine has just set up a sub-blog devoted to testimonials and reminiscences from those who studied at L'Abri, particularly during the Schaeffer years. It should make for challenging reading, as the church continues to struggle with the question: "How do you confront the culture with the truth of Scripture, when the culture rejects the very notion of truth?"

I never spent any time at L'Abri, but Francis Schaeffer's books have shaped the way I view the world and my faith. If God is there and if He has spoken to mankind, those facts should affect every aspect of life. Here are a couple of sites where you can learn more about Schaeffer: The Shelter and The Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary. And here is a 1982 sermon called "A Christian Manifesto," based on the book of the same name.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 5, 2004 11:02 PM.

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