L'Abri is the French word for word for "shelter" and on June 5, 1955 in Huemoz-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, Francis Schaeffer launched a project from his home that might just embody what the word shelter should mean. Schaeffer opened up his home to travelers and seekers to allow them to stay and ask any question about Christianity and God that they wanted.
This is, in my opinion one of the most prolific things that he could have chosen to do. With the advent of a philosophic movement called postmodernism, Schaeffer had either purposely or inadvertently felt the pulse of the upcoming world. If there is one thing that humans want now in this day and age, it's shelter. Shelter from a Christian world that will tell them that their questions are wrong to even ask. Shelter from a Non-Christian world that will tell them that their idea's about God are archaic. We seek shelter in an effort to alleviate ourselves of this constant bombardment. He offered something that the modern world has been slow in offering, a world without judgment. A time to reflect and truly figure out where you stand on issues. A time to study, relax and be mentored. A time to truly ask the toughest questions you could ever think of and to have them answered in a loving and intelligent fashion.
With this in mind, I believe that the modern church might be doing us a great disservice in not allowing us shelter. It seems that it can be such a hard place to be for those that have tough questions. There is almost no place to turn that our churches offer on a regular basis, though we may have a Davinci Code seminar here and there, these are not the same as a place to ask the questions that plague us everyday. "Why is the Bible correct?" "Why is there so much suffering in this world?" We need an avenue in the church that allows pastors to be equipped to be able to answer the hard questions. Education might be the most neglected part of the modern day church and if we do not do something soon to address this lack of education about the Bible, God, church history...etc there will a point when we hit critical mass. Where people will leave the church by the thousands because we have become intellectually bankrupt. Even now I pray that that time has not come upon our church when people will leave because they have found our religion lacking. When they realize that the emperor truly has no clothes.