photos by: Allan Kroeker
L'Abri Fellowship began in Switzerland in 1955 when Francis and Edith Schaeffer decided in faith to open their home to be a place where people might find satisfying answers to their questions and practical demonstration of Christian care. It was called L'Abri, the French word for "shelter," because they sought to provide a shelter from the pressures of a relentlessly secular 20th century. As time went by, so many people came that others were called to join the Schaeffers in their work, and more branches were established.
There have been perhaps four main emphases in the teaching of L'Abri.
First, that Christianity is objectively true and that the Bible is God's written word to mankind. This means that biblical Christianity can be rationally defended and honest questions are welcome.
Second, because Christianity is true it speaks to all of life and not to some narrowly religious sphere and much of the material produced by L'Abri has been aimed at helping develop a Christian perspective on the arts, politics and the social sciences etc.
Third, in the area of our relationship with God, true spirituality is seen in lives which by grace are free to be fully human rather than in trying to live on some higher spiritual plane or in some grey negative way.
Fourth, the reality of the fall is taken seriously. Until Christ returns we and the world we live in will be affected by the disfigurement of sin. Although the place of the mind is emphasized, L'Abri is not a place for "intellectuals only".
We are as concerned for living as we are for thinking and from the beginning the concern has been that the truth is as much exhibited in everyday life as it is defended in discussion. We do not do this perfectly of course but depend on the Lord to bring forth a measure of reality in our daily life.