Notable Quotable: “Edith Schaeffer and the Apologetics of Beauty” (A Tribute to Edith Schaeffer) – Nancy Pearcey

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“What most impressed me in knowing Edith (Schaeffer) when I was a student at L’Abri was her emphasis on everyday beauty,” says Nancy Pearcey, who is director of the Francis Schaeffer Center for Worldview and Culture at Houston Baptist University and who lived with Debby and Udo Middelmann while studying at L’Abri. “Arriving as a critical agnostic, I was surprised to meet Christians who actually cared about the world of ideas and the arts. It was not merely that Francis Schaeffer lectured about the arts, however. It was also that Edith thought it important for the Christian to incorporate beauty into all of life — such as simple but elegant table settings with a wildflower and a candle. Not expensive items, not conspicuous consumption. But creative (expressing your unique personality) and natural (using items and themes from nature when possible).

“Though I had grown up in the church,” Nancy explains, “I had never before met Christians who understood that our souls hunger for beauty just as much as for truth and goodness. For me, as for many others who studied at L’Abri in the days when Edith still presided, there was an apologetics of beauty that made me want Christianity to be true, at the same time that I was working through a philosophical apologetics that was persuading me intellectually that it was true. Edith described her love of everyday beauty in Hidden Art (the title was later expanded to The Hidden Art of Homemaking).”

(Richard Pearcey quoting Nancy Pearcey; “Death, Revolt, and Resurrection: A Tribute to Edith Schaeffer” , The Pearcey Report)

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