How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture

By Francis A. Schaeffer

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How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture

By Francis A. Schaeffer

... Show All

Francis Schaeffer’s Classic Analysis of the Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture

As one of the foremost evangelical thinkers of the twentieth century, Francis A. Schaeffer long pondered the fate of declining Western culture. Profoundly aware of the similarities modern culture shares with societies that came before, Schaeffer embarked on a journey to uncover the movements that gave rise to modern culture and resulted in the decline of the Christian worldview. 

Forty years later, his classic book How Should We Then Live? is as relevant today as it was when it was first published. Schaeffer argues that the erosion of society begins with a shift away from biblical truth. To support this claim, he walks readers through history, beginning with the fall of Rome, through the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, and up to the twentieth century. This latest edition analyzes the reasons for modern society’s state of affairs and presents the solution: living by the Christian ethic, fully accepting God’s revelation, and affirming the morals, values, and meaning of the Bible.

  • A Theology Classic: Written by renowned Christian philosopher Francis A. Schaeffer
  • For Those Interested in Philosophy and History: Engages with the ideas of Plato, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and Voltaire, and examines the art, architecture, and ideas that shaped modern society 
  • Explores the Importance of a Christian Worldview: A practical assessment of the evolution of culture and the steadfast alternative offered by the biblical perspective

Read Chapter 1


Francis A. Schaeffer

Francis A. Schaeffer (1912–1984) authored more than twenty books, which have been translated into several languages and have sold millions globally. He and his wife, Edith, founded the L’Abri Fellowship international study and discipleship centers. Recognized internationally for his work in Christianity and culture, Schaeffer passed away in 1984 but his influence and legacy continue worldwide.

Product Details

Category: Christian Living
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 360
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 15.12 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-7691-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-7691-1
ISBN-UPC: 9781433576911
Case Quantity: 32
Published: March 22, 2022

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Author's Note

Chapter 1: Ancient Rome
Chapter 2: The Middle Ages
Chapter 3: The Renaissance
Chapter 4: The Reformation
Chapter 5: The Reformation—Continued
Chapter 6: The Enlightenment
Chapter 7: The Rise of Modern Science
Chapter 8: The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science
Chapter 9: Modern Philosophy and Modern Theology
Chapter 10: Modern Art, Music, Literature, and Films
Chapter 11: Our Society
Chapter 12: Manipulation and the New Elite
Chapter 13: The Alternatives

A Special Note

Chronological Index
Select Bibliography
Bibliography of Other Books
General Index


“This book was formative for me as for so many others. You will be amazed at how relevant it is right now.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

How Should We Then Live? was produced by a genius who cared about the battle of ideas. It’s also the book I still recommend to students for a quick overview of ‘the rise and decline of Western thought and culture.’ Schaeffer brilliantly takes readers from ancient times through the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment, then discusses the breakdown in philosophy and science and moves on to art, music, literature, film, and much else besides.”
Marvin Olasky

“Go to any evangelical Christian gathering and ask twenty people the simple question: ‘What single person has most affected your thinking and your worldview? If Francis Schaeffer doesnt lead the list of answers, and probably by a significant margin, I'd ask for a recount.”
Joel Belz, Founder, WORLD magazine

“There are books that quickly go out of print and there are books for the ages. How Should We Then Live? is one for the ages. Any serious thinker must read it again and again.”
Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist; Former Host, After Hours, Fox News Channel