Christian Faith Means Bowing Twice (Schaeffer)

The God Who is There This is a good section of a good book:

“True Christian faith rests on content.  It is not a vague thing which takes the place of real understanding, nor is it the strength of belief which is of value.  The true basis for faith is not the faith itself but the work which Christ finished on the cross.  My believing is not the basis for being saved – the basis is the work of Christ.  Christian faith is turned outward to an objective person: ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved.'”

Schaeffer then mentions “propositional promises” of Scripture, like John 3:36: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them (NIV).

“There is a strong antithesis here.  The second part of the verse speaks of man’s present and future lostness, the first part of the verse gives God’s solution.  The call to Christian believing rests on God’s propositional promises.  We are to consider whether these things are true, but then we are faced with a choice – either we believe him, or we call God a liar and walk away, unwilling to bow to him.”

“A man is faced with God’s promises, Christian faith means bowing twice: First, he needs to bow in the realm of Being (metaphysically) – that is, to acknowledge that he is a creature before the infinite personal Creator who is there.  Second, he needs to bow in the realm of morals – that is, to acknowledge that he has sinned and therefore that he has true guilt before the God who is there.  If he has true moral guilt before an infinite God, he has the problem that he, as finite, has no way to remove such a guilt.  Thus what he needs is a nonhumanist solution.  Now he is faced with God’s propositional promise, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved….”

Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There, 164-165.

Shane Lems

Advertisements