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HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE PB Paperback – 3 Mar 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books; L'Abri 50th Anniversary Edition edition (3 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581345364
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581345360
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 1.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 277,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

How Should We Then Live? Drawing upon forty years of study in theology, philosophy, history, sociology and the arts, Dr. Schaeffer contemplates the reasons for modern society's sorry state of affairs and argues for total affirmation of the Bible's morals, values, and meaning Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an enormously important contribution to the history of ideas. Unfortunately it runs in the opposite direction from most post-modern thought, so many of today's 'alternative' thinkers who would be Schaeffer's natural audience are likely to disregard it.
Schaeffer's basic thesis is that there is a flow to history and culture, and that this is rooted in the way people think. Therefore, by charting the flow of ideas from the Romans to the time of the book's writing, he attempts to account for how modern culture developed. One could paraphrase this quest by saying 'to know where we are going, we must know where we have been'.
Schaeffer's assessment is that up to a point, the history of philosophy proceeded by someone critiquing the previously accepted worldview and then replacing it with their new theory. However, from a particular moment, thinkers wrote to dispose of previous theories and replace them with nothing.
Schaeffer was writing before postmodern thought became popular. Modernism has been defined as 'the fear of memory', and Schaeffer makes a compelling case for this without actually using the phrase. However, Postmodernism can be defined as 'the fear of explanations', or, more particularly, the fear of metanarratives which attempt to explain everything. This is a development which Schaeffer predicts.
'How Should We Then Live?' is itself just one of those metanarratives. Readers who are unquestioningly committed to the postmodern anti-dogma will find this a hugely disappointing book, and will resent its attempts to make sense of the past two thousand years.
This is a pity, because this book is probably the most compelling challenge to postmodern worldview. Anybody serious about questioning today's questioners would do well to read it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 May 1999
Format: Paperback
This is finally a book which makes it easy to understand today!s culture. It even makes it easy to get an idea of former cultures leading to all the forms of culture we can find around us today. Schaeffer explained things I've always longed to know - reasons, backgrounds, coherence of ideas and history. It's enthralling, not one of those books where knowledge is presented in a way to bore the reader. No, it helps to understand life!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
Schaeffer's analysis of a world which chooses to deny theexistence of a supreme Creator is dead on. Furthermore, the facts of history bear out Schaeffer's most poignant assertion--men tend to live according to their presuppositions whether or not they realize they are doing so. Man's pessimism in a world which he believes to have been created by time plus chance alone follows from his denial of the Christian worldview. Nonetheless, humanist man still struggles to sow meaning from a meaningless foundation. Schaeffer shows with compassion and honesty that Christianity is the cure for a hurting world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Jun 1999
Format: Paperback
Francis Schaeffer has taken and given a complete synopsis of history, philosophy, theology and art and has shown the progression of humanist thought in every culture through out history. This book, written in the 70's, makes predictions of where our culture was headed at the time and 23 years later he is correct in those predicitions. From his predictions that euthanasia would become an ethical problem of the future like abortion at the time of the writing of the book. This book is clear and concise and shows the direction our culture is headed at present time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. N. Papageorgiou on 29 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
Few would deny that the Western world has undergone tremendous changes in the context off thoughts and ideas. This book set out to accomplish two things: First, to give the reader a deep timeline of these changes and, secondly, to provide an explanation for them and their consequences.

Francis Schaeffer charts the course of Western thought, but does so in an evidence-based way. His main thesis is that by shifting its basis of thought from God to man, western society effectively removed the very foundation on which it stands, giving rise to the philosophical devaluation of human life and the constant - and often bloody - swings in political regimes. Without an absolute basis on which to create morals, laws and social structures, we have been essentially grasping in the wind, making it up as we go along only to see it sooner or later crumble like a deck of cards.

It's a compelling argument, and the book is thorough in supporting it with careful evidence. Schaeffer was a scholar and he he seeks to let the data speak for itself. He doesn't push - as some accused him - his own, Christian presuppositions in the book, but rather draws careful conclusions at the end of every chapter.

Having said that, we must remember that the book was written over 30 years ago. This commands both admiration for the book's durability and discernment on the book's centre of focus. In the '70's, Schaeffer saw the rise of "modern man", and most of us know what he's talking about. But due to its age, the book has very little to offer on explaining today's "Post-modern man", which might be of more interest to readers.

Secondly, it's fair to say that the book assumes a fairly good knowledge of western history and philosophy.
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