Schaeffer’s view of the Christian life was comprehensive, and this was an inspiration to so many of us. But this approach isn’t simple to summarize, for Schaeffer resisted formulas and mechanistic approaches to ministry. Schaeffer often spoke of the lordship of Christ over all of life (as in the beginning of Art and the Bible) and how the Christian system or worldview uniquely makes sense of the cosmos, history, culture, and humanity. Another point of my autobiography (if I may) makes this point. As a young Christian in 1976, I happened upon The God Who Is There in the University of Oregon bookstore. I devoured it, though I didn’t understand all of it. Nevertheless, that small book, given its breadth and depth of theology, apologetics, cultural analysis, and sense of ministry, summoned me to a courageous and intellectually active Christian life. As a believer, I need not fear the wide world of culture and ideas.
As I later read the entire Schaeffer corpus, his overall vision became part of my Christian life, however poorly practiced. Schaeffer integrated his thinking; one couldn’t separate, for example, True Spirituality from Escape from Reason. It was of a whole. Edgar has now done the church a marvelous service by summarizing Schaeffer’s thought under the category of “the Christian life.” This is exactly the right rubric.