It was a moment of crisis. Having come to faith in Jesus Christ and abandoned agnosticism, Francis Schaeffer had come to ask the question, “What is real?” Having pastored in the U.S. for nearly a decade and serving in a secularizing Europe, Schaeffer began to ask questions about what reality should Christianity produce and why had that reality diminished in his life when it was so real and fresh after his conversion.
After many long walks in the Swiss mountains and pacing in the hayloft where they lived, Schaeffer prayed and thought through the Scriptures in order to review his reasons for being a Christian.
And then it came to him. The light went on. The result was L’Abri – a ministry where the Schaeffers opened their alpine home to curious travellers as a forum to talk and wrestle with philosophical and religious beliefs. Schaeffer records the results of his pursuit of reality and meaning in his book True Spirituality.
Over the past 8 months, I’ve been meeting with a gentleman who has regularly asked me the question, “But what does it mean?” He wasn’t asking me for information; he was pushing me to think about what Christianity produces in my life and the lives of Christians. After one breakfast, he handed me Schaeffer’s book and encouraged me to read it. In its opening pages, I could hear the question of reality and meaning and I understood the source of his encouragement to me.
Each summer, I invite people to join me on my back deck at my home as we read a 20th century Christian classic. This year we’ll dive into Schaeffer’s work. By reading good Christian books from 20th century thinkers, we can encourage biblical thinking as we seek to live out our faith.
The format is fairly simple: I invite people to sign up. We read sections of the book prior to gathering together. We gather for 4 evenings in summer (July 24, 31, August 7, 14) for about 1 hour, usually on my back deck at my home (weather permitting). When we gather, we discuss the content of the book and what we learned from the author. It is always enriching to hear how other people are taking in what they are reading. We sharpen one another as we wrestle with the thoughts of those who have gone before us.
Prior to the group’s first meeting, I send out an email to participants with the reading schedule and make sure they have the book. If someone can’t make some of the sessions, I invite them to follow along with the reading. You can sign up by contacting me or by signing up at church.
Summer is a great time to change gears and do something different. Why not join me this summer and be encouraged in your faith?
As we gather for Sunday worship, we want you to meet with God and be transformed by the Word. Prepare your heart by reading the passage and listening to the songs for Sunday.