Tuesday, February 18, 2014

L'Abri Conference Revisited: Bill Edgar & Ellis Potter

With yesterday's post (L'Abri Conference Revisited: Jerram Barrs On "True Spirituality"), I began to give an ever-so-brief review of our experience at the Rochester L'Abri conference last weekend. Claire will be dropping in a post or two as well before we're done. And, as I mentioned yesterday, you may well consider ordering a tape or two (or more) from Sound Word Associates who will soon have a full catalog of the conference sessions and workshops. But in today's post, I'll pass along a few notes from the 2nd and 3rd general sessions, "Spirituality According to Frances Schaeffer" given by Bill Edgar and "Three Theories of Everything" by Ellis Potter. Both were excellent.

Edgar's talk began with the provocative line, "The present generation risks not knowing Francis Schaeffer." And then, with a quick review of Schaeffer's life and a more substantial look at the primary themes in Schaeffer's theology, apologetics, and lifestyle, Edgar very effectively argued the point.

This lecture might perhaps be most effective as an introduction to Francis Schaeffer, something to pave the way before reading a Schaeffer book or listening to a sermon tape. There was so much of Schaeffer's personal history, his personality, the development of L'Abri, and the highlights of his philosophy. However, as full of familiarity as it was for those who have read Schaeffer (I've been doing so for more than 40 years), it was still a very interesting, inspirational presentation.

Potter's talk was for the Friday evening general session which meant that the audience had already taken in several hours of lectures. But nobody was going to nod off for this one. Indeed, even though the subject matter was a bit daunting (a comparison of monism, dualism and what Potter calls trinitarianism), his lecture was wise, witty and immensely practical.

For the Christian who wants to better understand Eastern religions and New Age ideas, this lecture is a great start. As important, Potter gave good counsel about how to effectively communicate with the serious adherents of these philosophic systems as well as those who have been unknowingly influenced by them. He also explained how Christianity offers the remarkable and comprehensive solutions for the failures of these closed (and ultimately unworkable) systems. Very good stuff.

Later on this week, I'll have a bit more on the L'Abri conference and, as I suggested earlier, I think Claire will drop in a few items too. But now we've got a couple of "When Swing Was King" presentations to do today so I've got to run. Until later...