Primary Sources for the Presbyterian Masses

Early Tracts of Francis Schaeffer, Part 2 [1944-1946]

In Francis A. Schaeffer on 29/02/2012 at 12:29

Continuing with our review of some of the Schaeffer tracts found in the estate of Albert F. (“Bud”) Moginot, all of these tracts were published while he was serving as the pastor of the First Bible Presbyterian Church of St. Louis. The tract featured in our previous post, “The Bible-believing Christian and the Jew”, was written and published prior to his taking that St. Louis pulpit. These next several date entirely from within the period of his St. Louis pastorate.

The Federal Council Represents You If . . .

Rev. Schaeffer apparently produced this tract in concert with Carl McIntire’s efforts to establish the American Council of Christian Churches as a theologically conservative answer to the Federal Council of Churches, though the ACCC is never mentioned in the tract. The Federal Council had been established in 1908 and had come to hold a controlling position over access by pastors to the nascent Red and Blue radio networks. The federal government also looked to the Federal Council of Churches for direction in the allotment of military chaplaincy slots. McIntire’s initial goals for the American Council of Christian Churches, organized in 1941, were to gain radio air-time for conservative pastors and to open the doors for conservative pastors to serve as chaplains.

This tract, like the previous, was simple in its production and relatively inexpensive to produce. It is made from a single sheet of blue paper, 25-30 lbs. basis weight, measuring 6″ h. x 7″ w. and folded to create four panels. The address shown at the bottom on the title page is that of the church. [for more on that church building, click here.]

Baptism

This next tract can be dated more exactly, as it has the statement on the inside front cover that it was a message preached in St. Louis on 30 March 1947.  It must have been a long sermon, for the tract prints out to twenty pages in length. The outline of Dr. Schaeffer’s argument for infant baptism is as follows:
INTRODUCTION
IMMERSION
• Baptistic Arguments
INFANT BAPTISM
• Salvation by Faith Alone
• Covenant Is Immutable
• Covenant Is Primarily Spiritual
• The Outward Sign
• Sign Applied to Infants
• New Testament Practice
• Church History
• Baptistic Arguments
CONCLUSION
Questions Asked Publicly of Parents Before Infant Is Baptized

While this message was not included in the five volume Works of Dr. Schaeffer, still this title has remained in print and is currently available in a nicely reformatted edition from the PCA’s Christian Education & Publications bookstore. The content of that edition remains the same, but for the deletion of an opening statement by Dr. Schaeffer, and that statement provides the historical context of the sermon as originally delivered:

In the almost three and a half years that I have been your Pastor, I have not preached on the subject of Baptism, but now we come to this subject in our series of sermons on “What We Believe.”

The production values of this tract are obviously higher, with the use of a heavier paper stock. Five sheets of light gray paper measuring 6″ h. x 7″ w. are duplex printed with dark blue ink, and the sheets assembled to form the signature, a single saddle-stitch staple completing the binding of the tract.

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