Darrow Miller and Friends

A Tribute to Francis Schaeffer on the 30th Anniversary of His Death

A friend of mine recently reminded me that Francis Schaeffer died 30 years ago this month. As one of many people who were powerfully influenced by this remarkable man, I want to give a brief tribute to Dr. Schaeffer.

Schaeffer retreat in L'abri, Switzerland,In the late 60’s and early 70’s Marilyn and I had the privilege of studying and working at the Schaeffer’s retreat in Switzerland, L’Abri Fellowship.  Like so many of our generation, it was a life-changing experience.

Years later I heard Dr. Schaeffer speak at Biola University a few weeks before he died. His body was losing its battle with cancer.  He was frail, but his spirit remained strong. He challenged the Biola faculty and students to live a life before the Lord that would shape history.

Schaeffer posed a question at that event that still echoes in my mind.

“People ask ‘What are you doing here?’ They tell me I should be home in bed. But, our lives count for something in this broken world. As long as I have breath in my body, I want to represent Christ.”

I will never forget that moment or those words. His voice was physically weak, but it issued a clarion call to all who would hear.

Thank you, Francis Schaeffer,  for your life. Thank you for teaching me to live by the way you died.

My friend also linked this tribute from Ray Ortlund at the Gospel Coalition which I commend for your reading.

–          Darrow Miller


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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).