On Friday, I had the privilege of visiting L’Abri in Rochester, Minnesota with one of my classes. And it was well worth the trip. In class, we recently began the study of Francis Schaeffer. For those who are unfamiliar with L’Abri or Francis Schaeffer, here are some helpful links:
Essentially, L’Abri attempts to provide the space to ask many of life’s tough questions. People have the opportunity to come to stay at one of the 8 or so L’Abri locations worldwide and live there. They may help with some of the chores and upkeep, but essentially gives people a break from the busyness of the rest of the world. The people that work at L’Abri are very knowledgeable and very good listeners. The emphases of their apologetic method is relational (walk alongside), communal (with other people), and lifestyle (be the message that one teaches or put simply, be an imitator of Christ). This ministry seems to be doing some very good things. It is not only intended for non-Christians but also Christians who are looking to deeper their faith. So when that mid-life crisis comes around, I will probably look into staying at a L’Abri for awhile.
As we were listening the one of the workers at L’Abri, is struck me how similar its apologetics method is to that of the emerging church movement. It’s not about a four-step process of accepting Christ – it’s about walking alongside somebody else on our faith journeys. Once again, what the emerging church is doing in this arena is not anything new. L’Abri has been doing it for over 50 years. And that alone is refreshing to hear.