A Christian Manifesto
A Christian Manifesto is Schaeffer's examination of the conflict between the Christian worldview versus the humanistic worldview as it plays out in law and government. It is that shift in worldview which Schaeffer identifies as the fundamental issue in our culture today - and the fact that far too many Christians are fighting this war on various battlefronts, missing the totality of the conflict in which they are ultimately engaged! The battle, according to Schaeffer, is a conflict over Truth, whether there is a comprehensive and absolute Truth about all reality or not.
Schaeffer does an excellent job of reviewing human history and demonstrating clearly and convincingly that Christians have in almost every generation and every culture been at the heart of this continuous battle for truth. Setting the stage from the Protestant Reformation, Schaeffer then turns to the uniqueness of the legal and governmental status found in the United States - a government established on the principle that God supersedes law and that law supersedes man. But, warns Schaeffer, that uniqueness has been slowly eroded away by the humanist worldview and its invasion of the public policy arena with the fallacy that the state is supreme in the absence of the existence of God.
Schaeffer encourages Christians to be an active presence in the political process - and warns that when the state violates the liberties granted by God, civil disobedience is not only an option, but a commandment as well - to submit to an authority in clear violation of Biblical principles is not an option for a follower of Christ - "citizens have a moral obligation to resist unjust and tyrannical government," he writes.
Looking at the United States in the early 1980s, Schaeffer sees a window of opportunity for Christians to make their presence felt in the process, but warns that this window is slowly closing. Schaeffer uses the issue of abortion as his example of an issue where Christians must be a part of the solution, and gives various strategies that can be employed to make a difference in the culture on this particular travesty of humanistic reasoning.
A Christian Manifesto is a great read, especially for a Christian who wants to engage their culture for Christ in the public policy arena. Schaeffer's reasoning is solid, challenging and relevant even today!