Thursday, January 12, 2017

a Francis Schaeffer retrospective at Mere Orthodoxy suggesta a third way between adulation and anathema ... we might be underselling some of the foibles a little
He got some of the details wrong. He was an over-the-top generalist. The film series and book, How Should We Then Live? have a certain Cold War feeling that has now been succeeded by newer concerns, such as globalization and Islamicist terrorism. But he was fresh, and insightful, and had a “nose’ for trends and people. We can do a great deal with his heritage, whether in general areas or in the arts in particular. So many of his insights were right, though partial. May we be his worthy children as we build on his legacy and add to his insights!
He got some of the details wrong is too nice a way of putting it, depending on the subject.  I still agree with Schaeffer's critique of art for the sake of art being a dead end.  But Schaeffer's whole take on history blows up when you start breaking it down into the component disciplines.  Musicians with a modicum of music history could find no end to the implications of what Schaeffer got wrong about just John Cage.  But I'm incubating some thoughts about stuff like that which may or may not be presented in this particular context, i.e. this particular platform.

We can, certainly, do a great deal with his ideas and proposals, partial though they were--we can also, in another sense, remember that at most he provided a potential starting point and that perhaps the most valuable thing we can do is, and I'm trying to find a way to say this that can be construed as respectfully dissenting, move on from Schaeffer as clarion call to have Christians do X and go actually do X. 

I'd write more but I'm still mulling over a lot of stuff ... and to some degree there's some stuff at Roger Scruton's end of things that merits some pushback.  But I'm not sure how inspired I am to tackle that just yet ... maybe some stuff can wait for the weekend.

1 comment:

molly245 said...

I hope you do blog on Francis Schaeffer...I would like to read your analysis.