Primary Sources for the Presbyterian Masses

Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

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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Early Tracts by Francis Schaeffer [1944-48], Part 1

In Uncategorized on 28/02/2012 at 13:06

As I said, among the more mundane church records and the other remains of a long life, there are some real jewels that have been located as part of Rev. Moginot’s papers. For one of those finds, I have no real explanation as to how it came to be there in his possession. But more on that later.

Rev. Moginot may have been something of a collector of tracts. I did at least find a substantial box full of various tracts in a small room just off from the garage in his basement. It was not covered and so was quite dusty and showed other signs of damage. Still, the box was stuffed full and the resulting compaction saved a lot of the contents from ruin. There were tracts from any number of different evangelical organizations. Some from the school he attended, Dallas Seminary. Some from all manner of evangelical and fundamentalist ministries. And there were some from fellow pastors in the Bible Presbyterian Church. Among these there were a handful of tracts by Francis A. Schaeffer, two of which I had never seen before.

The first of these, “The Bible-believing Christian and the Jew”, can be precisely dated, since it was published in The Independent Board Bulletin, a publication of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, in October of 1943 and under the title “The Fundamentalist Christian and Anti-Semitism.” In a subsequent issue, the editor noted that Schaeffer’s message had been well received by the readership of The Bulletin. Most likely the tract was a subsequent publication. This article would have been written while he was still serving as the associate pastor to the Rev. Abraham Lance Lathem, and just before his leaving to take the pastorate of the First Bible Presbyterian Church of St. Louis. The content of Rev. Schaeffer’s message against anti-Semitism can be found here.

Physical details:
1. “The Bible-believing Christian and the Jew” — Single-sheet, folded tract, 15 cm. x 23 cm. (6″ x 9″). Medium blue-gray paper with a basis weight of approximately 30-40 lbs. Dark blue text printed in four panels, including the title panel, on the obverse and a large single panel of text on the reverse or interior of the tract.

Remembering Bud Moginot

In Bible Presbyterian Church, Francis A. Schaeffer on 28/02/2012 at 09:29

I’ve spent the last three Saturdays retrieving the Papers of Albert F. Moginot, Jr., a PCA pastor known to all simply as “Bud”.  Rev. Moginot died this past December at the age of 88, and about a year after the death of his beloved wife Vivian. He was born in 1923, was educated at William Jennings Bryan College and Washington University, and then prepared for the ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary. Upon graduation, he was ordained in the Bible Presbyterian Church and installed as associate pastor to Francis Schaeffer in 1948, right about the time that the Schaeffer’s were preparing to move to Switzerland to begin a ministry of church planting and children’s ministry. Bud’s wife Vivian served as Dr. Schaeffer’s secretary. The picture on the cover of the funeral bulletin dates from about that time with the Schaeffers.

From 1948 to 1973, Rev. Moginot was the pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alton, Illinois. He then stepped away from pulpit ministry to serve from 1974 to 1993 at Covenant Theological Seminary. In the latter years of that term, he also began to be active as a chaplain in the Civil Air Patrol. I think he was especially proud of that service, serving in that capacity right up until about a year before his death. But it was probably his term of service as Pastor of Visitation ministry at the Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church where Bud really hit his stride. He began that work in 1991, and continued faithfully until forced into retirement by a brain aneurism. Rev. Moginot led many to Christ and pointed everyone to his Savior.

Bud Moginot also served as the Stated Clerk for Missouri Presbytery from 1982 to 1995, and from what I can tell, the dear brother never threw anything away. The kind of guy archivists love! Regrettably, not everything has been found in the best shape. Some things were stored in the basement; some things were stored in the attic. Neither location is suited to preservation. But in all, some thirty boxes of documents have been retrieved from Bud’s house, and I’ve begun the work of an initial sorting of the papers. Much of the material concerns the Missouri Presbytery, as you would expect. But every once in a while there are some unexpected jewels. The next several posts will focus on some of those jewels that I’ve found among Bud’s papers.