4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
If only reality were so simple...,
By A Customer
This review is from: How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (Paperback)
I was drawn to Francis Schaeffer because of his reputation as a "scholarly" apologist, and I came away from this book impressed with the scope of his knowledge. Unfortunately, Mr. Schaeffer's considerable erudition is misused, and the book is essentially a series of bald assertions, questionable generalizations, and gross oversimplifications. (His caricature of Aldous Huxley borders on the slanderous.) Mr. Shaeffer is not analyzing history; he is filtering it to find support for his predetermined conclusions. Sympathetic readers might find his arguments compelling; I found them appallingly specious.
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Initial post: 6 Mar 2008 00:34:36 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Mar 2008 00:35:36 GMT
Martin Turner says:
The same could be asserted of a very large number of books which chart a course through history. This book, at least, offers up the evidence and lets you make up your own mind. If you are of the turn of mind that there is no meta-narrative through history, then, naturally, you will not agree with what this book has to say. Ultimately, most scholarly writers are 'clumpers' or 'splitters'. Clumpers put things together and say, 'look, there is a pattern after all'. Splitters take patterns which have established themselves and say 'this pattern is an oversimplification, we must break things down into components'. Splitters seem to be in the ascendent at the moment in popular discourse - all the more reason to pay attention to clumpers like Schaeffer (and, indeed, clumpers with opposite perspectives).
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