Book Review: No Little People

No Little People by Francis Schaeffer

Another of my impromptu used book store purchases, this is a collection of sermons from Francis Schaeffer.  They aren’t sermons in the sense that my denomination thinks of sermons.  They’re more like treatises, essays.  Theological and intellectual discourses.

Writing sermons is hard business.  My first homiletics professor rubbed his hands with glee, telling us that he was going to “forever ruin us from listening to sermons”, and this is true.  Once you’ve studied homiletics and once you’ve gotten into the flow of preaching 60-70 sermons a year or so, you can’t just listen or read someone else’s sermon without critiquing, and I know I’m not the most charitable of reviewers.

Schaeffer has some good points and thoughts in here, though.  His observations in two essays in particular are helpful – The Ark, the Mercy Seat and the Incense Altar and The Water of Life.  He provides some cultural and ritual as well as linguistic background that is helpful in seeing subtle (or not so subtle) connections across Scripture.  But he’s not here to offer you worldly encouragement in the sort of hang in there cat poster sense.  Don’t be mistaken though – Schaeffer does offer encouragement, but his encouragement – as with the first disciples and thinking Christians throughout the centuries – is based in the real presence of a God who is there and who has revealed his love towards us in the incarnation, death, resurrection, ascension and promised return of his Son, the Christ.  Aside from this objective reality Schaeffer rightly understands there can be no hope and no basis for much  of anything beyond personal preference.

Not my favorite Schaeffer work, but not without merit, either.

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