Peace, Affluence, and Liberty Compromised

Schaeffer on affluence

The largest block of people are those who in the 1970s were called the “silent majority.” They are the majority in the United States, England and many other countries. They can elect whomever they will under our present democratic voting procedures.
These, however, must be clearly understood to consist of two unequal parts: (1) the Christians, standing in the stream of historic Christianity, living under the propositional revelation of God as He has spoken in the Bible, and therefore having absolutes; and (2) the majority of what was called the silent majority, who are living on the memory of the practical advantages that Christian culture gave, but without a base for these advantages. Their values are affluence (they are practical materialists) and personal peace at any price. Having no base, no absolutes, most of them will compromise liberty if they are finally forced to choose between their affluence and personal peace on the one hand and giving up a piece of liberty on the other. They are no closer to the true Christian than was the hippie community and the New Left. In fact, they are probably further away, for they have no values that deserve the name values. Affluence and personal peace at any price as the controlling factors of life are as ugly as anything could be.

Francis A. Schaeffer, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, vol. 4 (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 28–29.

Millions of Selves

Chesterton on selfishness

“Countless acts by millions of self-centered, instead of God-centered, individuals may reasonably be thought to be destroying the world.”
G. K Chesterton

QOTD: What if Christians Argued for the Faith this Way?

“To begin with then I take what the Bible says about God and his relation to the universe as unquestionably true on its own authority. The Bible requires men to believe that he exists apart from and above the world and that he by his plan controls whatever takes place in the world. Everything in the created universe therefore displays the fact that it is controlled by God, that it is what it is by virtue of the place that it occupies in the plan of God. The objective evidence for the existence of God and of the comprehensive governance of the world by God is therefore so plain that he who runs may read. Men cannot get away from this evidence. They see it round about them. They see it within them. Their own constitution so clearly evinces the facts of God’s creation of them and control over them that there is no man who can possibly escape observing it. If he is self-conscious at all he is also God-conscious. No matter how men may try they cannot hide from themselves the fact of their own createdness. Whether men engage in inductive study with respect to the facts of nature about them or engage in analysis of their own self-consciousness they are always face to face with God their maker. Calvin stresses these matters greatly on the basis of Paul’s teachings in Romans.”

Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith. (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Philadelphia, 1955).