How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture / Edition 50

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Special 50th anniversary L'Abri Fellowship edition. Schaeffer's seminal work which analyzed the reasons for modern society's state of affairs and presented living a Christ-centered life as the only viable alternative

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"This is a modern-day classic, one of Schaeffer's books that awakened me to how biblical truth affects all of life."
Charles Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview

"There are books that quickly go out of print and there are books for the ages. How Should We Then Live? is one for the ages. Any serious thinker must read it again and again."
Cal Thomas, Syndicated Columnist, Host, After Hours, Fox News Channel

"How Should We Then Live? was produced by a genius who cared about the battle of ideas. It's also the book I still recommend to students for a quick overview of 'the rise and decline of western thought and culture.' Schaeffer brilliantly takes readers from ancient times through the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment, then discusses the breakdown in philosophy and science and moves on to art, music, literature, film, and much else besides."
Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, World News Group

"Go to any evangelical Christian gathering . . . and ask twenty people the simple question: 'What single person has most affected your thinking and your worldview?' If Francis Schaeffer doesn't lead the list of answers, and probably by a significant margin, I'd ask for a recount."
Joel Belz, Founder, World Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581345360
  • Publisher: Crossway Books
  • Publication date: 3/16/2005
  • Edition description: L'Abri 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 170,821
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Recognized internationally for his work in Christianity and culture, Francis A. Schaeffer authored more than twenty books, which have been translated into a score of languages and sold millions worldwide. He and his wife, Edith, founded L'Abri Fellowship international study and discipleship centers. Schaeffer passed away in 1984, but his influence and legacy continue worldwide.

Lane T. Dennis is president and publisher of Crossway Books and Good News Tracts. Dr. Dennis earned his BS in business from Northern Illinois University, an MDiv from McCormick Theological Seminary, and a PhD in religion from Northwestern University. Before joining Good News Publishers in 1974, he served as a pastor in campus ministry at the University of Michigan (Sault Ste. Marie) and as the Managing Director of Verlag Grosse Freude in Switzerland. He is the author and/or editor of three books, including the Gold Medallion-award-winning book Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer, and he is the former Chairman of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Dr. Dennis serves as the Chairman of the ESV (English Standard Version) Bible Translation Oversight Committee and as the Executive Editor of the ESV Study Bible. Lane and his wife, Ebeth, live in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    Join a worldview cafe discussion forum at your nearby Barnes & Noble...

    Dr. Schaeffer's Cultural analysis of Western Civilization is a profound and worldview shaking study! It engages our postmodern society and culture, integrating the 'Great Thinkers' within the various academic disciplines such as Philosophy, Science, Theology, History, Sociology, Art, Music, Literature, and Films. A MUST READ!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2013

    Check this out

    Excellent! A Christian perspective of world history.

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  • Posted December 8, 2011

    not for the faint of mind -- a life-changer

    There are maybe 5 books that I come back to on a regular basis. This is one of them. It forever challenged me to think deeper and more intentionally. Western culture and society now make sense. The vocabulary is intense yet the warm gentle spirit of this bright mind rings clear and true.

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  • Posted March 16, 2010

    great resource for studying the philosophy of modern Western culture

    This book had long been recommended to me, so when our son Mark (now graduated from high school) studied world history in tenth grade, we combined it with a study of Western culture and philosophy using Schaeffer's material. It was much later when I got around to reading it myself, and it is one of the most enlightening books that I have ever studied. Schaeffer, who died in 1984, gives the best explanations that I have seen as to the differences between the freedom of the Western world following the introduction of Christianity and the "Dark Ages" when much of the Christian message had actually been corrupted by the Roman Catholic hierarchy through its synthesis with pagan philosophy; between the Renaissance/Enlightenment that led to license and the Reformation that led to freedom, which were going on about the same time; between the English "Bloodless" and American Revolutions, with their Biblical bases, and the French and Russian Bolshevik Revolutions, with their atheistic origins; and the difference between the origins of science in trying to search for God's order in the universe and modern science which simply eliminates the supernatural.
    Some of the specifics of the book are a little dated today, but the overall thought of its message is just as true now as it was when written, and it is a bit eerie to see how some of Schaeffer's predictions based on trends that he saw in the early 1970s have come true in our time. Here is an example from Chapter 12, "Manipulation and the New Elite" in which Schaeffer points to the development of an authoritarian state to fill the vacuum left by the loss of Christian principles. "In Walden Two Skinner's utopia was a totally conditioned society. The director, T. E. Frazier, manipulated everyone to control all the details of the society. He made the people think that they wanted what he had decided they and society itself should be." This reminds me of Barak Obama and the health care debate. Schaeffer then goes on to describe the role of the media in all this. How Should We Then Live? is not easy to read, but no study of Western Civilization is really complete without it.

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    Posted July 4, 2009

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