He’s a man before my time. And his father, Francis Schaeffer, made his mark on the world well before I was born though his writings have impacted my life.
Last night at my dad’s semi-regular birthday party (he’s a leap year baby) my mom asked if I’ve ever read anything by Frank Schaeffer, Francis’ son. I have, but only Addicted to Mediocrity, a book about 20th century Christendom and art. I was asked if I’d heard anything about Frank’s latest book. I had not, so this morning I went where we all go if we have a question about something – the Google search box.
About Frank Schaeffer: By the age of 23, he had directed two multi-part religious documentaries and had helped instigate the marriage between the American evangelical community and the anti-abortion movement. But as he spoke before thousands in arenas around America, published his own evangelical bestseller, and worked with such figures as Pat Robertson, Jack Kemp, Jerry Falwell, and Dr. James Dobson, Schaeffer felt alienated, precipitating his own crisis of faith and eventually resulting in his departure. *
Bizarre Biblical Echo? Schaeffer has since become a successful secular author. He was reduced to stealing pork chops from the grocery store in L.A., rather than take on any more high-paying evangelical speaking gigs.*
In an interview about his latest book Crazy for God (2007) Frank Schaeffer said:
My memoir, Crazy for God, is an attempt to stop lying. I wanted to try and come clean. I wanted to admit my mistakes. I wanted to try to be the same person to everyone I met. You can be the world’s biggest hypocrite and still feel good about yourself. You can believe and wish you didn’t. You can lose your faith and still pretend, because there are bills to be paid, because you are booked up for a year, because this is what you do. [More…]
Wikipedia reports that Schaeffer has distanced himself from many of his father’s Calvinist views and has converted to the Greek Orthodox church in 1990 which he says “embraces paradox and mystery.”
For some more online intrigue, check out this opinion article by William Dembski from 2005, on an interesting website called uncommon descent:
I am momentarily reminded of a line from Dr. Seuss. Oh the Place’s you’ll go.
*[From his publisher’s note]