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In this classic work, Edith gives insight from many personal experiences, the stories of others and Scripture, that help explain the purpose of human suffering. Her emphasis is on the personal God who cares and understands and is not absent from our current situation.
She seeks to answer the troubling question, "Why?" and stresses God's empathy and applying Job and other Scripture in a personal, caring approach to physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering.
Affliction was written in 1978, in the period between Dr. Schaeffer's two works How Should We Then Live? (1976) and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (1979). Affliction still stands as one of Edith Schaeffer's most prominent works. Her depth of compassion into the human condition is consistently conveyed in a way that is still relevant today.
What is rather interesting about the timing of the book in relation to the life of the Schaeffers is that Affliction as a manuscript, according to Edith's record in The Tapestry, was finished October 2nd, 1977, the book was finally released on January 1st of the following year. The book makes no mention of Fran's cancer. This is because he is later diagnosed with lymphoma in October of 1978 following the filming of Whatever Happened to the Human Race? So within a year's time, of Edith finishing Affliction, the Schaeffer's are now asked to live out the lessons communicated therein in depth. By God's grace, Fran is allowed to continue his ministry, as his cancer briefly goes into remission. This allows him time to compile his Complete Works to be released in 1982, publish his last work The Great Evangelical Disaster (1984) and do various other significant activities before his final passing in 1984.
Francis Schaeffer Studies has an extensive collection of quotes for each of Francis and Edith's various works. When available, this section contains quotes that help give you a sense of the book content.
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Keywords: moment-by-moment, refining, affliction
"There is a very real thing that is going on inside us, a moment-by-moment, daily refining process, comparable to the refining of silver and gold." ~ Edith Schaeffer, Affliction
Keywords: silver, purity, affliction
"Have you heard that the silver is not pure, not considered ready for use until the silversmith himself can see his face reflected in the liquid silver? What a picture we have been given!" ~ Edith Schaeffer, Affliction
Keywords: time, caring for others, affliction
"Is there no time for pushing aside others for our own private sorrow? No, there is always a mixture. There is never a time when it is 'convenient' to care for someone else. There is always what could be considered a 'conflict,' and sensitivity as to what to do first is part of the polishing process." ~ Edith Schaeffer, Affliction
Keywords: life, art, affliction
"Something is taking place in us right now, which is as astonishing as the refining of silver, the purifying of gold, the finishing of the final touches on a work of art." ~ Edith Schaeffer, Affliction
Keywords: power, affliction
"Although people do not often consider affluence or power an 'affliction,' there is so much temptation connected with wealth and influence..." ~ Edith Schaeffer, Affliction
Keywords: beauty, affliction
"Our Assurance as children of the Living God is that He is able ~ Edith Schaeffer, Affliction
Francis Schaeffer Studies has done extensive studies on the works of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. When available, in this section you will find class materials and resources to enhance your exploration!
Edith Scaeffer comes directly to grips with the eternal question of why we face suffering and affliction in this life, showing us how to trust in God alone for comfort.