During the 1970s, Francis A. Schaeffer, an evangelical theologian, wrote and narrated How Should We Then Live?, a ten-part film series that traced the history of Western culture and thought. Lots of art and philosophy were put on display. But the real narrative focused on something a little different — the history of humanity’s lapse from God and a Biblical worldview. The film became a sensation at evangelical churches across America, sometimes drawing 5,000 people per screening. And, as Ryan Lizza writes in a New Yorker profile published this week, the film had a life-altering effect on Michele Bachmann, the US Representative now vying for the presidency.

For Schaeffer, the big turning point came during the Renaissance. That’s when things went wrong. He laments (starting around the 10:45 mark above):

At the beginning of the Renaissance, it could have gone either way. Nature could have had its proper place. Man could have been in his proper place, and it would have been absolutely beautiful. But at a certain point in the Renaissance, the scales tipped, and man put himself at the center absolutely, and this opened the door completely to the whole destructive force of humanism that followed down through the Enlightenment [otherwise called “The Age of Non Reason”] and into our own day.

If you want to see where this destructive force brings us, you need only turn to the last segment “Final Choices.” (Part 1Part 2Part 3) According to Schaeffer, we end up under the control of an authoritarian elite that imposes its arbitrary will on the people, sometimes injecting birth control into the water supply, and sometimes deciding who will be born, and who won’t. The authoritarian elite resides in no one place. It’s shadowy, doing its work in many places. But one place you definitely find it? The Supreme Court that gave us Roe v. Wade.

Should you wish, you can watch the remaining segments via the links below.

Episode I – The Roman Age
Episode II – The Middle Ages
Episode III – The Renaissance
Episode IV – The Reformation
Episode V – The Revolutionary Age
Episode VI – The Scientific Age
Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason
Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation
Episode IX – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence
Episode X – Final Choices (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3)

via The LA Times


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Comments (7)
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  • Since she is a conservative she must be a lunatic…..I get it. We must not allow diversity of thought, which is the only true diversity by the way.

  • Bobbie says:

    Ha Ha Ha the age of non reason!! It is this kind of thinking that IS non reason..When fear is extrapolated the way this film does then it simply becomes paranoia. Paranoia is not particularly partisan, it shows up on both sides of the isle but it is non reason in a nutshell!

  • Dagwood says:

    Mr Writing seems to think that if one doesn’t agree with a person, or if one things that the person’s ideas are laughable or loonie, one is thereby favoring banning that view. That’s loonie (but I defend Mr Writing’s right to offer prepostrous opinions to his heart’s content).
    Many people, the world over, agree that life since the middle ages has been on the decline and would prefer “traditional”, God-centered society.
    Other of us disagree. Each camp will try to persuade people. I don’t think the dark ages are appealing. Mr Writing and folks like Bin Laden do.

  • stefanie lorimer says:

    Hopefully the type of people who are predominately interested in OpenCulture are intellectually curious and honest. I appreciate the posting of material from all and various worldviews. Studying how others think is important, interesting and instructive. I do not, however, appreciate cheap propaganda and attempt at ‘opinion making’ in the title and body of this “article”.

  • Dan Colman says:

    Stefanie,

    I am trying to get where you are coming from here. The post and title say nothing (I think) that Schaeffer would disagree with. In fact, pretty much everything in the post is taken verbatim from Schaeffer. Maybe you can watch the videos and then explain what exactly you object to.

    Regards,
    Dan

  • Hugh Dontknow Tolerance says:

    Tossing in your an infantile swipe at your political enemy in the title merely demonstrates you really don’t understand what is required for an “open culture” to work.

  • Oliver says:

    Thank whatever deities there may or may not be, that Michele Bachman will never be President.

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