“In his 1974 position paper for the Lausanne congress on evangelization, Schaeffer tells the story of the deep period of doubt and perplexity in his life in 1951 and 1952. Troubled by the lack of spiritual reality in the Christian groups he worked with, Schaeffer began asking what was missing and why. He thought his way all the way back to his original agnosticism and put all his beliefs and commitments back on the table for renegotiation. He paced back and forth for months or took long walks when the weather permitted. He notified his wife, Edith, that if he didn’t find what he needed in Christianity, he would reject it and then do something else with his life. His conclusion: I came to realize that indeed I had been right in becoming a Christian. But then I went on further and wrestled deeper and asked,
“But then where is the spiritual reality, Lord, among most of that which calls itself orthodoxy?” And gradually I found something. I found something that I had not been taught, a simple thing but profound. I discovered the meaning of the work of Christ, the meaning of the blood of Christ, moment by moment in our lives after we are Christians—the moment-by-moment work of the whole Trinity in our lives because as Christians we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. That is true spirituality.
“First of all, we are looking at a true baby. He is not an idea or a religious experience. He is a newborn infant who makes noises and cries when he gets hungry. What we are looking at is real, simple, definite, complete. We are looking at a true baby. There is no reason to think that the baby shows any special manifestations. An artist such as Rembrandt can paint him with light emanating from his body, and if we understand the light as symbolic, it is safe enough. But if we think of it as more than that, it is harmful. There is no halo about the baby’s head. Certainly there is no halo around Mary’s head. What we see is a young Jewish mother, probably seventeen or eighteen years old. She may be pretty or she may not be. We see her husband, and we see a little baby who does not show any marks that would distinguish him from any other infant. And yet this little baby we see lying here is the second person of the Trinity. He himself has been God forever. This baby is God who has taken on flesh.” -Francis Schaeffer
“Man is indeed lost, but that does not mean that he is nothing. We must resist humanism, but to make man a zero is not the right way to resist it… [The] Christian position is that man is made in the image of God and even though he is a sinner, he can do things that are tremendous – he can influence history for this life and the life to come, for himself and for others… From the biblical viewpoint, man is lost, but great.” -Francis Schaeffer