The Man clad in Breeches

My wife and I are off to Peru tomorrow on a mission trip for a week and I'm uncertain if I'll be able to blog from the Southern Hemisphere! On my way, I've decided to dip into Colin Duriez's new biography of Francis Schaeffer (Francis Schaeffer: an Authentic Life published by Crossway and see Tim Challies' review, here). No! It wasn't on my summer reading list!

A few months after my conversion (as a sophomore Math student at Aberystwyth University in 1972) I came across Schaeffer for the first time. It was Escape from Reason and Death in the City that I recall most from those days. I don't think I ever became obsessive about Schaeffer, but I can still recall his description of first discovering classical music (for him it was Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture).

Waiting in line to get a Hepitatis B shot this morning, and waiting, and waiting ....zzzzzzzz 

Ah yes, waiting in line, I came across this moving description of Schaeffer leaving to Hampden-Sydney College to begin pre-ministerial studies:


"The long-anticipated day of leaving for Virginia dawned, and Francis Schaeffer got up before 5.30. When he had prepared for bed the night before, his father had instructed him, "Get up in time to see me before I go to work... 5.30."  He found his father beside the front door, waiting. Turning to look directly at his son he said, "I don't want a son who is a minister, and -- I don't want you to go." It was a decisive moment for both father and son. There was silence between the two in the early dawn light. Fran then said, "Pop, give me a few minutes to go down in the cellar and pray." Descending, his thoughts in confusion, tears started. In the basement he prayed about the choice he must make. In his deep emotion he resorted in desperation to a kind of prayer that, in future days, he would advise many people not to make. Asking God to show him, he tossed a coin, saying that if the result was heads he would go, despite his father's wishes. Heads. Not content, he tossed again, declaring that if it was tails, he would leave for Hampden-Sydney. Tails. Still crying with emotion, he asked God to be patient and said that if the third toss was heads, he would go. There was no mistaking it. The coin landed affirmatively. He turned to his silently waiting father and said, "Dad, I've got to go." After an instent glance at his son, his father walked through the doorway and pushed the door behind him hard to slam it. Just before the door banged, however, Fran heard his father say, "I'll pay for the first half year." Years later, Fran's father came to share his faith, affirming his son's resolve." (Pp.25-26).