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 1 — Part 2 — Part 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