Religion: Mission to Intellectuals

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No Crutch for Kids. The Schaeffers' guests spend most of their weekends in discussion sessions led by Francis Schaef fer in the chalet's big living room (where he also conducts a brief Sunday morning service), with a hike for exercise. The talk may begin with any subject, from skiing to space flight; Presbyterian Schaef fer, Bible in hand, trades dialectic with the best of them, as the air grows blue with cigarette smoke. "We don't sell sweet religious pills in the discussions," he says. "What we give is the truth." Missionary Schaeffer's conception of the truth is uncompromisingly Biblical and fundamentalist."If we accept part of the Bible as a myth, we might as well be consequent and accept the whole Bible as a myth. Why, I can have more respect for a Teddy boy who tells me that killing a friend with a bicycle chain is all right.

He at least has a philosophy. To people like him we can point out that morality does have a purpose, and we can lead them back to the self-consistent system of orthodox, reformative Christendom.'' The Schaeffers count their conversions in low numbers—last summer there were 17, and last week there were two more.

But those who do become Christians are not likely to be superficial ones. "They're no fools," says Schaeffer. "When they make a decision, they possess the intellectual framework to make it in. We have had to solve the most unlikely problems, and the Lord has even helped us in preventing certain suicides. But religion isn't a crutch for kids or psychos. Religion is the universal truth. It is irrational to think that watertight doors exist between religion and intellectual thinking. A step of faith is no step in the dark."

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