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Posts Tagged ‘Francis Schaeffer’

Early Tracts by Francis Schaeffer, Part 4 (1946)

In Francis A. Schaeffer on 02/03/2012 at 15:47

From our recent accession of the Papers of the Rev. Albert F. (“Bud”) Moginot, Jr., the next in our series of early tracts by Dr. Schaeffer is one titled “Peter Versus The Papacy”.  Whereas we already had one or two copies of each of the tracts on Baptism and The Holy Catholic Church, I had not previously seen a copy of this tract.

Like the other two tracts, this title bears a date inside the front cover indicating when the message was originally delivered—in this case, February 17, 1946.

Rev. Schaeffer’s message in this case is shorter than that of the previous tracts. The tract prints out to just fourteen pages in length. And there are no printed subdivisions of the text, as there were with the others. Rev. Schaeffer opens the message in this way:

Tomorrow is February 18. This is a great date in thereligiouslife of the world. It is a great date: (1) for the Roman Catholic Church, because the largest number of men ever to be named as Cardinals at one time will receive their official notification from the Pope; (2) for Protestants, although most Protestants do not seem to realize the significance of the day, because tomorrow marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther.

. . .The falling of these two events on a single day could not be by coincidence. Rather, Rome has chosen this time to name her Cardinals to join the issue once more between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Since Rome has so seen fit, our theme for this morning will be “Peter Versus the Papacy.”

The keystone of the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is the primacy of Peter. Therefore, today let us see what the Word of God has to say concerning Peter and his teaching. . .

Physical aspects: The construction of the tract is similar to that of the other two. Four sheets of tan 30-35 lbs. paper, measuring 6″ h. x 7″ w. and duplex printed with dark brown ink, folded and assembled to form the signature, with a single saddle-stitch staple for binding. And as I mentioned before, the Moginot collection has copies of the “Holy Catholic Church” tract with this same tan colored paper, as well as with a salmon colored paper. That message was first printed in 1944 and the one on “Peter versus the Papacy” in 1946. Given the related topics, it is easy to see how there might have been a need to reprint the first title.

Early Tracts of Francis Schaeffer, Part 3 [1944]

In Francis A. Schaeffer on 01/03/2012 at 12:55

Continuing with our series on the handful of tracts by Francis Schaeffer, all of these tracts were published while he was the pastor of the First Bible Presbyterian Church of St. Louis, Missouri. That pastorate began in December of 1943 and ended late in 1948. Leaving that pulpit, he then moved his family to Switzerland to begin a ministry of church planting.

Today we’ll focus on another of these tracts which were recently accessioned from the estate of the Rev. Albert F. Moginot.

“The Holy Catholic Church”

Inside the front cover of this tract there is the note that this message was originally preached in St. Louis on 12 November 1944. At that time Dr. Schaeffer had been the pastor of the St. Louis church for just less than one year. St. Louis is a city with a particularly large population of Roman Catholics. In fact, the city is second only to New Orleans in the observation of Mardi Gras. So in that setting it would not be surprising to find many in a Protestant congregation who were troubled by some of the words in the Apostles’ Creed. It is a common concern and misunderstanding, one that the young pastor sought to address. Going beyond that, the tract is also a brief apologetic for a biblical faith, over against the errors of Roman Catholicism. Rev. Schaeffer begins his message with the following statement:

Of all the phrases of the Apostles’ Creed, the one which is most open to misunderstanding is: “I believe in the holy Catholic Church.” Many Protestants, feeling that in some way this portion of the Apostles’ Creed refers to the Roman Catholic Church, are ashamed to repeat it. Let us say, as we begin, that not only does “the holy Catholic Church” have no reference to Roman Catholicism, but it is the very antithesis of it.

Schaeffer then touches on the following points in examination of his topic:
• The Church Is One.
• Entrance into the Universal Church.
• The Bible.
• The Sacraments.
• Baptism.
• Confirmation.
• Penance.
• Mass.
• The Church Is Holy.
• Conclusion.

Rev. Schaeffer’s conclusion provides an excellent summary of his message:

We should repeat this portion of the Apostles’ Creed with heads held high and with the determination not to give up this name catholic, which is ours. We who are true believers are the holy Catholic Church. I am a Christian because I have put my faith in Jesus Christ and for no other reason. My friends, therefore, I am a member of the universal Church, the Church catholic.
. . . Let me say again that I do not hate or dislike the individual Romanist. I hate no man because of his creed any more than because of his race. There is no place for these things in the Christian heart. I also realize that there may be Christians in the Roman Catholic Church; but if there are, they have been saved through faith in Christ in spite of the errors of their Romanism. Perhaps there are Roman Catholics here this morning, and perhaps there is someone here that the Roman hierarchy has sent to hear what we have to say because of the ad we had in the paper yesterday. If this is so, I am glad you are here, and it is my prayer that you will put your faith in Jesus instead of any church, and thus be saved. Do no misunderstand us, we are not urging you to believe in our church to be saved. No church can save you—ours or any other. You must believe in Jesus Christ who paid all the price for your sin on the cross. Then you will have everlasting life immediately and forever. Jesus Christ Himself said in John 3:18, “He that believeth on him (on Jesus) is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
For those of you who are Christians, it is my prayer for you that you go from this place with a realization that it is our task to lead the Romanist to Christ. If you leave with any other feeling, then our study this morning has been a failure. By the grace of God, realizing that no church saves, but that each individual soul must put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, let us be determined that we will bear a good testimony to all who are lost.

Physical features of the tract:
This tract is similar in quality and construction to the tract on baptism. Four sheets of salmon colored paper, approximately 30-35 lbs. basis weight, form the signature with a total of 16 numbered pages. The text is duplex printed with dark red ink. Two saddle-stitch staples bind the assembled tract. Apparently there was at least a second printing of this tract, based upon the presence in the collection of another copy of this title but with light tan paper printed in dark brown ink. I judge this to be a second printing, probably dating from 1946, based upon another tract of that date with the same color scheme. We’ll look at that tract tomorrow.

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.

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.