Primary Sources for the Presbyterian Masses

Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Francis Schaeffer on our Presbyterian heritage (1982)

In Francis A. Schaeffer, Joining & Receiving, Presbyterian Church in America on 01/07/2009 at 09:35

The following quote is taken from an address given by Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer before the Tenth General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, on the occasion of the reception of the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod into the PCA.  Dr. Schaeffer’s address was subsequently printed as a separate monograph and it is also available online at the PCA Historical Center’s web site.  The direct link is

“As Presbyterians our heritage is with a Calvin who dared to stand against the Dukes of Savoy regardless of what it
cost.  Our heritage is with a John Knox who taught us, as I’ve stressed in A Christian Manifesto, a great theology of standing against tyranny.  Our heritage is with a Samuel Rutherford who wrote those flaming words, Lex Rex—only the law is king and “king” under any name must never be allowed to arbitrary law.  Are you Presbyterians?  Have we a Presbyterian body?  These men are the men who give us our heritage—Calvin and his position, John Knox and his, Samuel Rutherford his, and no less than these in our own country, a John Witherspoon who understood that tyranny must be met and must be met squarely because tyranny is wrong.  These who understood that true love in this fallen world often meant the acceptance of the tears which go with confrontation.  None of us like confrontation, or I hope
none of us do.  But in a fallen world there is confrontation, there is confrontation concerning truth, there must be confrontation against evil and that which is wrong.  The love must be there but so must the hard thing of acting upon differentiation, the differentiation God gives between truth and falsehood, between what is just, based on God’s existence and His justice, and injustice.”