Vol.IX No.XI Pg.4
January 1973

Post Christian Period

Robert F. Turner

The Swiss writer, Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, presents his material in this post-Christian period to call men back to faith in the reality of God and revelation. Post-Christian period caught my eye and shattered complacency with its realism. That means the period in history following the Christian period, and I wondered how many brethren realize the sense and extent of truth in such a label. Most of us have a Bible-sheltered existence, and find it difficult to believe that there is an outside world so removed from traditional faith.

Of course Schaeffers terms give a broad definition to Christian, and contrast the wide-spread atheism and amorality of this generation with past-century dominance of nominal faith. But we are absurdly naive if we think the general world rejection of Christian faith can have no influence on our work today. We are rapidly approaching a time when true Christians will stand out in the world because they believe, rather than because of their particular tenets. I said stand out in the world.

If you wish you may twist my statement to mean that particulars or distinctive doctrinal differences are no longer important. The very opposite is true, Faith in God Himself is eroded as men are led to treat lightly any portion of Gods word; or presume to select one teaching as important, another equally clear statement as of no consequence. In fact, the shocking inroad that liberalism has made among members of the church in our time is partially the result of no pattern -- we do not need authority teaching, offered in defense of churchhood institutionalism.

We are hounded on one side by a sectarian spirit that would make the traditional interpretations of the brotherhood (that great middle section) the standard of truth; and on the other side by a liberal spirit (no less sectarian in the final analysis) that uses such error to attack faith in firm, unchangeable standard of truth, To maintain balance in such a conflict is difficult indeed.

If we do live in the post-Christian period (and through the world-at-large there seems to be some evidence of this) we can expect more and more conflict with atheism and amorality. The Pentecostalism, Neo-Calvinism, and liberalizing of fellowship that plagues institutional churches of Christ today (and believe me, they have their hands full) will either. (a) penetrate currently conservative churches, or (b) drive them to build strict sectarian walls of loyalty, —or, (and Oh, how we must work to make this the course) (c) we may build constructively on the present searching, questioning spirit of the younger generation, give them honest, straight-forward Bible answers (or search with them for these answers) and so save faith and souls.

Dr. Schaeffer (denominational back ground; teacher and lecturer in various theological schools) dwells now where the action is. The post-Christian period is a reality with him, NOW! With us —a period of grace, but ITS LATER THAN YOU THINK!