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The Mark of the Christian (IVP Classics)

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"It is possible to be a Christian without showing the mark, but if we expect non-Christians to know that we are Christians, we must show the mark." Christians have not always presented an inviting picture to the world. Too often we have failed to show the beauty of authentic Christian love. And the world has disregarded Christianity as a result. In our era of global violence "It is possible to be a Christian without showing the mark, but if we expect non-Christians to know that we are Christians, we must show the mark." Christians have not always presented an inviting picture to the world. Too often we have failed to show the beauty of authentic Christian love. And the world has disregarded Christianity as a result. In our era of global violence and sectarian intolerance, the church needs to hear anew the challenge of this book. Decades ago Francis Schaeffer exhorted, "Love--and the unity it attests to--is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus was sent by the Father." More than ever, the church needs to respond compassionately to a needy world. More than ever, we need to show the Mark.


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"It is possible to be a Christian without showing the mark, but if we expect non-Christians to know that we are Christians, we must show the mark." Christians have not always presented an inviting picture to the world. Too often we have failed to show the beauty of authentic Christian love. And the world has disregarded Christianity as a result. In our era of global violence "It is possible to be a Christian without showing the mark, but if we expect non-Christians to know that we are Christians, we must show the mark." Christians have not always presented an inviting picture to the world. Too often we have failed to show the beauty of authentic Christian love. And the world has disregarded Christianity as a result. In our era of global violence and sectarian intolerance, the church needs to hear anew the challenge of this book. Decades ago Francis Schaeffer exhorted, "Love--and the unity it attests to--is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus was sent by the Father." More than ever, the church needs to respond compassionately to a needy world. More than ever, we need to show the Mark.

30 review for The Mark of the Christian (IVP Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Dishman

    “In John 13 the point was that, if an individual Christian does not show love toward other true Christians, the world has a right to judge that he is not a Christian. Here Jesus is stating something else which is much more cutting, much more profound: We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, that Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians.” For the world today, we need this teaching! The wo “In John 13 the point was that, if an individual Christian does not show love toward other true Christians, the world has a right to judge that he is not a Christian. Here Jesus is stating something else which is much more cutting, much more profound: We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, that Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians.” For the world today, we need this teaching! The world does not see our love for one another, nor our love for all mankind. What is the mark of a true Christian? Francis Schaeffer spells it out quite clearly in this short, but packed full of truth, little gem of a book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Crandall

    A quick, inspiring read. Simple, yet anything but simplistic. This is a great primer on the high calling of Biblical unity and brotherly love.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian Eshleman

    Love everyone. Love especially true Christians. Sounds basic, but Schaeffer's Biblical exposition and illustrations drive the point home. Love everyone. Love especially true Christians. Sounds basic, but Schaeffer's Biblical exposition and illustrations drive the point home.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris Priestley

    Short, emotionally and intellectually gripping study of John 13 & 17. Written with a rare mix of kindness and firmness.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Hawkins

    What’s the mark? Love. Love for one another, and love for the world, both flowing from our real, conscious moment-by-moment relationship with God. It’s amazing that a man so philosophically wise, apologetically clever, and exegetically and pastorally strong can then also write such a compelling book about love. Usually love is for the devotional people, while theology is for the intellectuals. Not so with Schaeffer; he here shows that we *must* be people of love—not just in word, but in actual em What’s the mark? Love. Love for one another, and love for the world, both flowing from our real, conscious moment-by-moment relationship with God. It’s amazing that a man so philosophically wise, apologetically clever, and exegetically and pastorally strong can then also write such a compelling book about love. Usually love is for the devotional people, while theology is for the intellectuals. Not so with Schaeffer; he here shows that we *must* be people of love—not just in word, but in actual emotions, in actual actions. Per his own advice, this book should be coupled with his *The Church Before the Watching Word*. Schaeffer believes the church needs to do two difficult things simultaneously: 1) to show forth real love to the world as the final apologetic, and 2) to keep purity (moral and doctrinal) in the church. *The Mark* deals with love; *The Watching World* deals with the purity aspect. I recommend. I definitely don’t think it’s one of his best, but it’s a great read, and challenging as to love as well.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lance Crandall

    Fantastic little book, and needed that much more for us today!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike Fendrich

    04/13/2021 - OK make it 11. This is still an important exhortation to the church, that their love for one another (all of the one anothers!) must be visible, real and at times costly even in light of real differences we have. When we have the desire to be known as right, or to win the argument over loving another soul that Christ has saved, what do we expect the world to think of the church? In our city, we recently had yet another Bible believing, strong church split. Perhaps this was unavoidab 04/13/2021 - OK make it 11. This is still an important exhortation to the church, that their love for one another (all of the one anothers!) must be visible, real and at times costly even in light of real differences we have. When we have the desire to be known as right, or to win the argument over loving another soul that Christ has saved, what do we expect the world to think of the church? In our city, we recently had yet another Bible believing, strong church split. Perhaps this was unavoidable but the after effects of the split show the world that we really aren't any different from them. Shame on us. This is about my 10th reading of this little book. While I get a little nervous about the validity of Christianity being based upon how I show love to others, especially other believers, Schaefer's point in this book is spot on and, in my experience, sorely missing in today's church. Read Colossians 3: 12-17 and examine yourself and your church to see if these characteristics, what it means to love others, are present in your own heart or in your church. And then thank God that Jesus died for these sins also. And then, take "The Mark of a Christian" seriously and with God's help, make some changes. Me too!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    Short, but packed with so much practical, Biblical truth. Worth the read!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    This should be required reading for all Christians, especially those with any kind of social media presence.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Timothy George mentioned this book in the little book Building Bridges about the Southern Baptist Convention. I decided to get it because it was about Christian love and I wanted to see what one of the wisest men of my young adult years had to say on the subject after just studying I Corinthians 13 and now going on to 14.

  11. 5 out of 5

    David

    Short and sweet.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pat O'Keeffe

    Brilliantly clear and brief call to exhibit the one true mark of Christian discipleship: love. A very worthwhile read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Williams

    Such a quick read, yet with so much practical application! The challenge to love your neighbor and your brother is practically overwhelming. I can’t count how many times while listening to this hour long audiobook that I said out loud, “yes!” In agreement.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn

    Another thoughtful Schaeffer read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tcblack

    A Marvelously compelling way to start the new year by reading through one of my most favorite authors.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lee Nienhuis

    Short read that packs a punch. Love one another- seems like a basic command. Think again. Loved the portion and guidance when disagreeing is necessary. Taking that with me into today.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel

    Book Review: The Mark of the Christian Author: Francis Schaeffer Format: Paperback Topic: Theology of Christianity Scope: Biblical passages and exposition of Jesus' statement that Christians must "Love One Another." Purpose: To explain to Christians what it looks like to love one another and why it matters so much. Outline: The book(let) is one long chapter of 59 pages. It could take less than an hour to read. There are 19 separate headings. In addition there is a poem called Lament by Evangeline Pate Book Review: The Mark of the Christian Author: Francis Schaeffer Format: Paperback Topic: Theology of Christianity Scope: Biblical passages and exposition of Jesus' statement that Christians must "Love One Another." Purpose: To explain to Christians what it looks like to love one another and why it matters so much. Outline: The book(let) is one long chapter of 59 pages. It could take less than an hour to read. There are 19 separate headings. In addition there is a poem called Lament by Evangeline Paterson at the end. What it does well: Schaeffer is one of the father's of the modern evangelical apologetics movement. As such this book is a good primer on some of his thought. It shows that Schaeffer was very much concerned with the behavior of the Christian, not just the doctrine of the Christian. Lastly, Schaeffer does a great job of calling for unity between all true Christians. What it lacks: This book is not meant to be an apologetic book in the sense of logical arguments for the faith. Those who are familiar with some of Schaeffer's other work will find this to be a different sort of work than they are used to reading. Some quick highlights: "All men are our neighbors, and we are to love them as ourselves. We are to do this on the basis of creation, even if they are not redeemed, for all men have value because they are made in the image of God. Therefore they are to be loved even at great cost"-16 "All men derive from one origin. By creation all men bear the image of God. In this sense all men are of one flesh, one blood"-18 "We must include everyone who stands in the historic-biblical faith whether or not he is a member of our own party or our own group."-20 "What is the final apologetic? 'That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me.'"-26 "Anything that an individual Christian or Christian group does that fails to show the simultaneous balance of the holiness of God and the love of God presents to a watching world not a demonstration of the God who exists but a caricature of the God who exists."-36 "And the world is called on to look upon and see whether we have love across the groups, love across the party lines. Do they observe that we say, 'I'm sorry,' and do they observe a forgiving heart? Let me repeat: Our love will not be perfect, but it must be substantial enough for the world to be able to observe or it does not fit into the structure of the verses in John 13 and 17. And if the world does not observe this among true Christians, the world has right to make the two awful judgments which these verse indicate: That we are not Christians and that Christ was not sent by the Father."-42-43 "Love--and the unity it attests to--is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus was sent by the Father."-59 Recommendation?: This is good medicine for today's Christian. Much of Christianity has fallen into tribalism and infighting. Schaeffer's call to love one another is much needed. It is short and easy to read, but it is not easy on the heart.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jaimie

    Quotes from the book: (regarding John 13:33-35) "Jesus turns to the world and says, 'I've got something to say to you. On the basis of my authority, I give you a right: you may judge whether or not an individual is a Christian on the basis of the love he shows to all Christians.'" (regarding John 17:21) "We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, that Jesus' claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians Quotes from the book: (regarding John 13:33-35) "Jesus turns to the world and says, 'I've got something to say to you. On the basis of my authority, I give you a right: you may judge whether or not an individual is a Christian on the basis of the love he shows to all Christians.'" (regarding John 17:21) "We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, that Jesus' claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians." "Our love will not be perfect, but it must be substantial enough for the world to be able to observe or it does not fit into the structure of the verses in John 13 and John 17. And if the world does not observe this among true Christians, the world has the right to make the two awful judgments which these verses indicate: That we are not Christians and that Christ was not sent by the Father." "But we should understand that what we are working for in the midst of our difference [with other Christians] is a solution - a solution that will give God the glory, that will be true to the Bible, but will exhibit the love of God simultaneously with his holiness."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Cappoferri

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What a timely and perfect little book for the modern day Church. Francis Schaeffer takes two verses: John:13:34-35 and John 17:21 to (rightly) identify that through Christ’s own words it is the twin hallmarks of Love and Unity that are to be the greatest witnesses to the world of (1) who is and who is not a true Christian (Love) and (2) that Christ was sent by the Father (Unity). His final paragraph sums up the whole of this potent little book: “Love – and the unity it attests to – is the mark C What a timely and perfect little book for the modern day Church. Francis Schaeffer takes two verses: John:13:34-35 and John 17:21 to (rightly) identify that through Christ’s own words it is the twin hallmarks of Love and Unity that are to be the greatest witnesses to the world of (1) who is and who is not a true Christian (Love) and (2) that Christ was sent by the Father (Unity). His final paragraph sums up the whole of this potent little book: “Love – and the unity it attests to – is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus who sent by the Father.” Highly recommended for every Believer to read this classic little book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Schaeffer is straight up in reiterating Jesus command and prayers - “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” - John 13:34-35 "Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." - John 17:23 Schaeffer is bold enough to state that if the world is not turning to follow Jesus, it has reason is the Church is not displaying love Schaeffer is straight up in reiterating Jesus command and prayers - “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” - John 13:34-35 "Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." - John 17:23 Schaeffer is bold enough to state that if the world is not turning to follow Jesus, it has reason is the Church is not displaying love for each other and oneness in Jesus command to love one another. A good book to have on the shelf and refer back for a sanity check periodically.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    One of those books that I first read in high school and I continue re-reading it throughout the years. Basically a study of John 13:34-35 and John 17:21, and the implications of "love one another" in our Christian lives and in our witness to our world. This is a quick and easy read but it is also full of meat. You will get your toes stomped on, I know I do everytime I read it, but it is done with love and sincerity. I encourage all Christians to "take up and read," and most importantly live thes One of those books that I first read in high school and I continue re-reading it throughout the years. Basically a study of John 13:34-35 and John 17:21, and the implications of "love one another" in our Christian lives and in our witness to our world. This is a quick and easy read but it is also full of meat. You will get your toes stomped on, I know I do everytime I read it, but it is done with love and sincerity. I encourage all Christians to "take up and read," and most importantly live these words.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bill Berry

    Timely Read In a world that is so antagonistic and divided., Schaeffer reminds us of a love that is all too often missing among Christians today. This e is not a mushy gushy let's just get along false love. But a love based on our Savior. One that calls out errors in false religion and is understanding of our differences in Christianity and lives despite of those things. A love that mirrors the live of Christ. So that the world may know Him. Timely Read In a world that is so antagonistic and divided., Schaeffer reminds us of a love that is all too often missing among Christians today. This e is not a mushy gushy let's just get along false love. But a love based on our Savior. One that calls out errors in false religion and is understanding of our differences in Christianity and lives despite of those things. A love that mirrors the live of Christ. So that the world may know Him.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ksorb

    By WHAT shall all men know that we are Christ's disciples? Francis Schaeffer has brought it home once again - penetratingly, clearly, yet gently, with grace. "... if you have love one to another." He examines Scripture to see what this looks like, where we as a Church have failed, and what to do about it. I hope to re-read this book every year or so. It is only 62 pages long, yet is like a small surgical cut, excising a bit more of my own spiritual and relational cancer. It is good. By WHAT shall all men know that we are Christ's disciples? Francis Schaeffer has brought it home once again - penetratingly, clearly, yet gently, with grace. "... if you have love one to another." He examines Scripture to see what this looks like, where we as a Church have failed, and what to do about it. I hope to re-read this book every year or so. It is only 62 pages long, yet is like a small surgical cut, excising a bit more of my own spiritual and relational cancer. It is good.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate Joekel

    Short and Convicting I have long loved Francis Schaeffers writings. He seems to see to the heart of the matter . This book is no exception. For the believer it is a challenge to portray the mark of a Christian which is love for all men this book gives a blueprint how tobdobtgat.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ambar Sanchez Marcelo

    I have been in 1 John for the better part of this year (2020). It was encouraging to me that Schaeffer's book emphasized that the true mark of a Christian is love. I really enjoyed how he drove that point and expressed how the way we love one another and express that love brings glory to God and demonstrates to an unbelieving world that these are true Christians. I have been in 1 John for the better part of this year (2020). It was encouraging to me that Schaeffer's book emphasized that the true mark of a Christian is love. I really enjoyed how he drove that point and expressed how the way we love one another and express that love brings glory to God and demonstrates to an unbelieving world that these are true Christians.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ken Adams, III

    True Christianity Although published a number of years ago, this book is just as relevant now as it ever was. Christians too often argue, fight, and divide over such small and silly things. This should not be so. Schaeffer informs the reader of the proper way to disagree to outwardly express to the world that the Father sent the Son.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joshua D.

    An exposition of John 13:35 -- "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another". In a perfect world, no Christian would be able to speak on the floor of Presbytery or get a social media account without first reading this book and undergoing a short exam. But I suppose if we lived in a perfect world, we would not need this book. An exposition of John 13:35 -- "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another". In a perfect world, no Christian would be able to speak on the floor of Presbytery or get a social media account without first reading this book and undergoing a short exam. But I suppose if we lived in a perfect world, we would not need this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mark Roossinck

    A simple straightforward exhortation to live the Christian life with the mark of love and unity. I have had his complete works on my shelf for some time, and now I get to read them. This book was short, but very pointed and right on. I chose it for it brevity, but its insights had depth.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Atwood

    A very simple and short book with one idea. The real actual flesh and blood local church must love each other. It’s both a test of our own faith and the greatest apologetic and witness to the world. Good short reminder.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jason Bailey

    Excellent! Fantastic book! The main point: it is love for one another that will show that one is truly a Christian and love coupled with good apologetics that show the authenticity of the Christian God.

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