Here’s one more passage from Francis Schaeffer’s True Spirituality. In the last passage, he urged us to be honest seers of life around us as it really is. In this passage, he discusses the fruit in our lives that comes from seeing the world this way. He acknowledges that there is still “so much beauty in God’s creation,” a point which many Christian writers today emphasize, and a point which is of course true, “but equally,” he points out, “there is the Fall.”
He goes on to point out three advantages to seeing both of these aspects of our world.
“First,” he says, “in this way we have a realistic view of life and death, of beauty and ugliness, of the nobility of people and the consummate cruelty of people.”
In other words, we can’t truly understand our world if we only think about the beauty that exists in it because it is the work of our wise, generous creator. We’ve also got to really acknowledge, account for, and grapple with the horrible results of the fallenness of Man, especially as manifested in our love of, and our performing of, sin. He continues:
Second, in this comprehension we not only have a way to live in the light of the coming salvation (the total future healing), but right now we also have a way to stand against what is wrong and cruel in the world. There is a profound and intrinsic distinction between cruelty and noncruelty, between the right and the wrong, between what was meant to be and what is.
Third, we are kept from two destructions:
On one hand we are kept from the foolishness of a fixed smile on our faces as though all is right in the world, as though God is pleased with it as it is, as though faith means a ridiculous saying that things are all wonderful they are not.
On the other hand, we are kept from a negation of life rather than an affirmation of it. [Today, many] thinking people recognize that if death is the end of all things, then the dust of death is on all of life now. But we know the reverse of this: there is coming at Christ’s return the restoration of all things – death will be destroyed, the body and soul will be reunited, and all things will be healed of their abnormality.
Thus, the dust of life is on all things now, and we can intellectually and in practice affirm life now in the midst of this death that exists.