The Greater Heritage

S3, Ep. 3 - How Should We Then Live? (TV Series) by Francis A. Schaeffer

February 20, 2021 J.R. Waller Season 3 Episode 3
The Greater Heritage
S3, Ep. 3 - How Should We Then Live? (TV Series) by Francis A. Schaeffer
Show Notes

In this episode of The Greater Heritage podcast we review the Francis Schaeffer TV series How Should We Then Live?  available at Vision Video and Amazon Prime.

Francis A. Schaeffer was one evangelical Christianity’s foremost philosophers and theologians of the 20th century.

He was also a committed apologist for the Christian faith, and frequent author.

In 1955, he and his wife Edith establish the L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland as a place for people to ask honest questions about life and Christianity.

The organization is still around today, as are Schaeffer’s over 20 books.

In 1977, Schaeffer broke into the world of television with the series How Should We Then Live? 

He developed the series as a response to Kenneth Clark’s 1969 art and world history series Civilisation.

However, while exceptional in its own right, Civilisation’s view of world history was entirely humanistic.

So, Schaeffer set out to do a series that got to heart of the meaning of history, namely that it is first and foremost God’s story.

Across the series’ 10 episodes, he takes viewers on a journey through the Roman era, Middle Ages and Renaissance, and the age of non-reason, until finally stopping in the contemporary world.

The primary thesis for the show, is that God is the only source of absolutes.

He then explains, in a clear and profound manner throughout the show, how mankind is inherently rebellious against God.

Nevertheless, the creator God is personal, infinite and has revealed Himself through the Bible and creation.

Therefore, when man follows God and starts with Him as the source of meaning and purpose he finds peace, salvation, strength, meaning, law, order and answers to his deepest questions and needs.

However, when man follows himself, and starts from within to find meaning and purpose, instead of by starting with God, it only leads him to apathy, and despair.

It is within this tension that history has found itself since the fall in the Garden of Eden.

How Should We Then Live? is nothing short of spectacular.

In the end, Schaeffer demonstrates how man’s designs for life are nothing more than circles in the sand.

One decade the rules are represented by one man-made circle, then in another man crosses that circle out and forms a new one.

History, without God, is a never ending series of futile attempts for man to be his own measure, until finally the ocean of God’s return washes it all away.

Francis A. Schaeffer was one of the leading Christian thinkers of the 20th century, and How Should We Then Live? is just as sound, profound and stirring as the man himself.

Highest recommendation!

Intro and outro music provided by Five Minute Plan. Be sure to check them out!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this review are solely those of the reviewer. They do not represent any endorsement.