More Wittenburg Door Back Stories

As Steve recalled in his tribute to the Wittenburg Door, “Frankie Schaeffer later became a disgraceful leftist, repudiating his father’s worthy life work and legacy.” Frankie’s father is Francis A. Schaeffer, founder of the L’Abri international study center in Switzerland and author of The God Who is There, first published in 1968, and How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, from 1976. As Schaeffer noted, the West was living on memories of the view that God created men and women, man has dominion over nature, theft is wrong, and so forth. Those memories are fading fast.

The West now lives under the Dictatorship of the Subjunctive Mood (DSM). Men can become women and vice versa, with the “alphabet people” claiming special rights, cancelling free speech, and banning jokes about themselves. As John notes, tuna fish are now regarded as “individuals” that shouldn’t be caught and eaten. In similar style, in D. Keith Mano’s The Bridge (1973), an animal-rights dictatorship decrees that humans “in spontaneous free will and contrition, voluntarily accede to the termination of their species.” 

California’s Proposition 47 basically legalizes theft and we find books such as In Defense of Looting.  So philosopher-theologian Francis Schaeffer, author of A Christian Manifesto, has a place among the prophets. He died in 1984, two years before Wired to Kill, which could have put him under. Back in the day, I reviewed the film for Wittenburg Door, and at this writing, two of the prime movers have departed.

Mike Yaconelli authored Messy Spirituality in 2002 and the next year died in a car accident. Youth pastor Denny Rydberg authored How to Survive in College and became president of Young Life. Denny died from cancer in 2019 but you can hear him talking about his ministry to military children in this video.

Cartoonist Dan Pegoda now hangs out at Eugene Weekly and moonlights as an actor. Illustrator Craig McNair moved on to Disney and many other pursuitsDoor co-founder  Wayne Rice, also known as “Wanda Ritchie” in the magazine, can be seen at this link with Francis Schaeffer his own self. Wayne authored Up Close and Personal: Building Community in Youth Groups and he’s also a talented bluegrass musician.

In the late sixties, Wayne recalls, “my brothers and I had a group called The Rice Kryspies” and later formed Brush Arbor, with old friend Dennis Agajanian on lead guitar. Dennis will share the gospel “with anyone who will listen” even at the local honky-tonk, “where the clientele are, shall we say, looking for love in all the wrong places.”

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