December 08, 2008
Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) was probably the single greatest intellectual influence on young evangelicals of the 1960s and '70s. He was cultural critic, popular mentor, political activist, Christian apologist, founder of L'Abri, and the author of over twenty books and two important films. It is impossible to understand the intellectual world of contemporary evangelicalism apart from Francis Schaeffer.
Barry Hankins has written a critical but appreciative biography that explains how Schaeffer was shaped by the contexts of his life - from young fundamentalist pastor in America, to greatly admired mentor, to lecturer and activist who encouraged world-wary evangelicals to engage the culture around them. Drawing extensively from primary sources, including personal interviews, Hankins paints a picture of a complex, sometimes flawed, but ultimately prophetic figure in American evangelicalism and beyond.