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Schaeffer On: Love As The Final Apologetic

In light of this past weekend’s sermon, here are some helpful excerpts from The Mark of the Christian, an often-overlooked work by Francis Schaeffer:

“We are to love all Christians “as I,” Jesus says, “have loved you.” Now think of both the quality and the quantity of Jesus’ love toward us.(21)”

“In John 13 the point was that, if an individual Christian does not show love toward other true Christians, the world has a right to judge that he is not a Christian. Here Jesus is stating something else which is much more cutting, much more profound: We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, that Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians.(27)”

“Let us be careful, indeed, to spend a lifetime studying to give honest answers…But after we have done our best to communicate to a lost world, still we must never forget that the final apologetic which Jesus gave is the observable love of true Christians for true Christians.(29)”

“This is the whole point: The world is going to judge whether Jesus has been sent by the Father on the basis of something that is open to observation.(35)”

“The  Christian really has a double task. He has to practice both God’s holiness and God’s love. The Christian is to exhibit that God exists as the infinite personal God; and then he is to exhibit simultaneously God’s character of holiness and love. Not his holiness without his love: that is only harshness. Not his love without his holiness: that is only compromise.(36)”

“…we should never come to such difference with true Christians without regret and without tears. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Believe me, evangelicals often have not shown it. We rush in, being very, very pleased, it would seem at times, to find other men’s mistakes. We build ourselves up by tearing other men down. This can never show a real oneness among Christians.(45)”

“The word love should not be just a banner. In other words, we must do whatever must be done, at whatever cost, to show this love. We must not say, ‘I love you,’ and then -bang, bang, bang!(47)”