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Author Topic: Frank Schaeffer's latest book  (Read 2394 times) Average Rating: 0
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Eugenio
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« on: December 16, 2007, 05:40:44 PM »

Hmmm...it looks like Frank Schaeffer's political views are changing.

For those of you who don't know Mr. Schaeffer, his father Francis Schaeffer helped found the Evangelical religious right in America. His son Frank converted to Orthodoxy after his dad died, and wrote a book discussing this (and other views) in "Dancing Alone."

Now he's come out with a new book titled "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back"

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786718919/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1JCGSITWRHY07&colid=2J7GDLO19JI98

I'd discuss more, except for the ban on political discussions that appears to be enforced in this forum. However, Schaeffer (who I always used to think was way too reactionary for my tastes) has written a number of thought-provoking columns at The Huffington Post, an admittedly liberal blog where I thought I'd never see someone like him writing. (Although if you'll recall, the Greek-born Huffington too started off on the political right and moved left). Do a search for Frank Schaeffer on this site: www.huffingtonpost.com. (The one he wrote on televangelist Pat Robertson is particularly delicious!)

From Frank's latest columns, it appears that he is no longer taking sides in the so-called "culture wars" but instead is sparing no one - right or left, Republican or Democrat - from being criticized for the hypocricy that he sees in American society. Good for him!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 05:44:27 PM by Eugenio » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2007, 06:10:03 PM »

Just to clarify, political discussion is allowed but in the private forums area which you need to request access to.

Having said that, I was flipping through TV the other night and came across Frankie doing a book reading/talk on CNN in which he was publicizing his new book that recently came out, Crazy for God.

I was actually a bit put off by him. 

My girlfriend was watching TV with me (just to preface, she's not Orthodox and knows nothing of the guy), but was amazed at how self-centered Frankie was being.  It was all "I this" and "I that" and a whole lot other judgments thrown out.  We wound up changing the channel because he was starting to get a bit aggravating.

Robert
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2007, 06:14:28 PM »

HM...Is this guy still Orthodox, or what?
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2007, 06:40:53 PM »

HM...Is this guy still Orthodox, or what?
Yes
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 02:33:14 PM »

Are referring to the "Crazy for God" blog on the rutherford site?
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2007, 03:02:45 PM »

I found dnacing Alone an entertiaing read but a bit bombastic. The part that got my goat was when he stated that the immigrant Orthodox "dropped the ball" when it came to Evangelism.  When my grandfather stepped off the boat from the Austro-Hungarian empire he was (1) broke, (2) did not speak english and (3) was without his family; whom I might add were starving away in the old country.  He was then herded into an ethnic ghetto in Pittsburgh, given the most menial of jobs in a factory and held in general disdain by his Anglo fellow workers. Ever read Maslow's Needs Hierarchy.  He was not thinking about evangelism he was thinking about survival. And even if he did want to evangelize, howwould he communitcate? or be received by the established Protestant majority?  HELLO!
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 01:50:51 AM »

I found dnacing Alone an entertiaing read but a bit bombastic. The part that got my goat was when he stated that the immigrant Orthodox "dropped the ball" when it came to Evangelism.  When my grandfather stepped off the boat from the Austro-Hungarian empire he was (1) broke, (2) did not speak english and (3) was without his family; whom I might add were starving away in the old country.  He was then herded into an ethnic ghetto in Pittsburgh, given the most menial of jobs in a factory and held in general disdain by his Anglo fellow workers. Ever read Maslow's Needs Hierarchy.  He was not thinking about evangelism he was thinking about survival. And even if he did want to evangelize, howwould he communitcate? or be received by the established Protestant majority?  HELLO!

I'm not a big Schaeffer fan, but I don't think he was speaking of the very poor first generation immigrants that barely managed to make out a living for their families.  Instead their children and grandchildren who went on to become middle-class Americans are the ones who dropped the ball. 

And really to be honest we're all still dropping the ball today.  Many of the "convert" jurisdictions barely reach out beyond Evangelicals - a niche no wider than many of the "ethnic" jurisdictions.  There is still almost no outreach to the typical nominally or not at all religious Americans.  IME, the Orthodox Church's campus ministry (OCF) is a complete farce.  And even in the case of historically Orthodox ethnicities the Church has a long way to go in the US (i.e if you mention "the Romanian church" here people assume you mean the GIANT pentecostal one, or perhaps one of the several baptist Romanian churches).
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2007, 02:17:17 AM »

I find his press so frustrating.  Why? Because there is a big market for the kind of books he publishes: popular books on Orthodox topics. Some of them are very good, like Clark Carlton's.  But others are full of typos, the writing style is inconsistent (cf. "Orthodoxy Revisited" where the author alternates between a colloquial and scholarly style frequently, and where there are typos on almost every page), and there are some seriously questionable things published.

If Schaeffer would get someone in there to do a better job editing, I think his press would continue to reach new audiences.
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2008, 09:43:02 PM »

Oh my gosh. I just flipped through this book at Barnes and Noble. I don't think that you can say he is really still Orthodox and I probably won't be buying any more books from his press again.
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2008, 10:09:41 PM »

Oh my gosh. I just flipped through this book at Barnes and Noble. I don't think that you can say he is really still Orthodox and I probably won't be buying any more books from his press again.

Wow.  That's pretty shocking.  How bizarre.
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2008, 10:21:55 PM »

Wow.  That's pretty shocking.  How bizarre.

Granted, take it from who I am and what you know my positions to be so maybe you would be more amenable to some of what he says than I am, but I think that even people that are "liberal" politically would find some of his comments on faith to be well, strange and unOrthodox. What I see is Shaeffer moving from one extreme to another, still the same nasty and judgmental person though.
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2008, 10:30:57 PM »

Does he actually say he is no longer Orthodox or is just that his views have shifted radically? 

Even *I* was surprised at some of his views, and that's no easy task.
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2008, 10:44:24 PM »

Does he actually say he is no longer Orthodox or is just that his views have shifted radically? 

Even *I* was surprised at some of his views, and that's no easy task.

I didn't see any references to Orthodoxy at all in his book. But in the epilogue he outlines his views on faith and says such enlightening things as (paraphrased), "I don't look to the Church for all my answers, but just as one of many sources. To me faith is more about" and then he describes some scene of looking at art in a museum around Christmas taking in the sound of a familiar carol.  It was weird.

He may very well consider himself to still be Orthodox, but after reading what he wrote in its totality, I don't see how he can be.

If anyone who has read the book all the way through got a different sense from it, I would be happy to hear their take on it. I was just highly surprised after reading his prior books Dancing Alone and Letters to Fr Aristotle (which BTW I did not exactly agree with either in totality).
« Last Edit: February 14, 2008, 10:45:34 PM by Anastasios » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2008, 11:54:14 PM »

It would not surprise me if he left the Orthodox Church. For some people it is jsut another step in their "spiritual growth." Barf  Undecided
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2008, 11:23:38 AM »

Wow, I did not know of this. I always thought of him as a strident EO convert/apologist. Guess he's getting wishy-washy.

I think there was much to like about his father. He was more than a founder of the modern Religious Right. The L'Abri retreat houses are very good, and he had some surprising faith-informed political views of his own: read Pollution and the Death of Man: A Christian View of Ecology. Best short work I've read on the subject.
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2008, 12:11:15 PM »

I think we're speculating quite a bit here. On his website, in a December 2007 interview preface about Crazy for God, his conversion to Orthodoxy is mentioned.

http://www.frankschaeffer.net/crazyforgod.html
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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2008, 02:18:51 PM »

I think we're speculating quite a bit here. On his website, in a December 2007 interview preface about Crazy for God, his conversion to Orthodoxy is mentioned.

http://www.frankschaeffer.net/crazyforgod.html

Yes, in one blurb--but after reading what he thinks about religion and issues like abortion I don't consider that he is actually Orthodox. Pick up the epilogue of the book and read what he thinks faith is. Doesn't fit in well with what the Orthodox Church teaches IMO (if anyone that has read the book disagrees with me I would welcome the discussion).  GisC would probably like him though Wink
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