The Rochester, Minn., branch of L’Abri Fellowship, founded by Francis and Edith Schaeffer, held a conference in town last weekend (February 13-14).
Bob Osburn, Executive Director of the MacLaurin Institute, was there:
"The annual Rochester L’Abri conference, an annual respite from winter’s bitter chill, is a combination family reunion and Chautauqua festival for Christians who have and are cutting their intellectual eye-teeth on Francis Schaeffer. This year’s conference lived up to its sterling reputation, albeit with a slightly small crowd of 550 as compared with the usual 700.
"First, there are the L’Abri workers themselves. Schaeffer was an evangelist with a deep feel for the human being in front of him, and his successors carry on that tradition of Christian humanism. They serve and serve and serve, all with good cheer and unusually sensitive attention to the person in front of them.
"Second, of course, there are the registrants, who vary in age from middle school all the way up to their 80s, with a large slab of Baby Boomers and an increasing contingent of 20-somethings. They are a combination of home-schoolers, thoughtful middle-aged professionals, college-aged students, and assorted others -- all questing for answers to deep questions, and finding them. This is no cult, just a community questing honestly for answers.
"Speaking of the content, over 40 different workshop and plenary sessions on topics ranging from gardening to Pascal to music were led by seasoned L’Abri veterans who are universally alarmed by facile answers and eager to get below surface issues to presuppositions.
"This year’s thematic focus on creation provided needed compensation for those eager to hear -- but not hearing -- in their churches about the profound implications of the first two and the last two chapters of the Bible. Suffice to say, God loves His creation enough to redeem it, and we should too."
Here’s the website for Rochester L’Abri. More on Edith Schaeffer here.
By the way, Osburn tells Pro-Existence that as of March 31, he’s embarking on a “new venture with the Wilberforce Academy, an educational initiative aimed at training students to be redemptive change agents in their home societies.” We look forward to hearing more about this new work.
Related: Francis Schaeffer: “The Central Problem of Our Age.”