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Author Topic: Why I Converted To Eastern Orthodoxy : Author Frank Shaeffer  (Read 7304 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 14, 2012, 12:06:41 PM »

Why I Converted To Eastern Orthodoxy : Author Frank Shaeffer
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 12:16:47 PM »

Okay... Undecided What do you wish to discuss about this video?
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 12:19:55 PM »

A priest gave me this on DVD when I first met with him about potentially converting last year.  I found it helpful and interesting, but Im not really a huge Frank Shaeffer fan anymore.
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 12:35:37 PM »

I know Bob Meyering, the interviewer. Good guy. I'd be personally more interested in the linked AFR interview with him than Frank Shaeffer, who strikes me as a kind of angry person, based on his articles I've read. Nonetheless, Frank has an interesting story. He's not someone I would personally direct potential converts to, however.
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 12:39:00 PM »

Yes, he certainly seems angry.  And I also dont care for how political hes gotten.  I just tune him out now.
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 02:01:29 PM »

I had never even heard of Frank or his dad until I converted to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 02:06:24 PM »

I'm being baptized into Orthodoxy in two weeks (God willing) and I've still never heard of the guy!  Grin

Interesting video, but I like this one from the related videos better.
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 02:47:13 PM »

I'm being baptized into Orthodoxy in two weeks (God willing) and I've still never heard of the guy!  Grin

Interesting video, but I like this one from the related videos better.

i didn't much care for this interview. I found myself cringing too often.
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 02:54:40 PM »

I'm being baptized into Orthodoxy in two weeks (God willing) and I've still never heard of the guy!  Grin

Frank Schaffer is a moderately though not exceptionally talented artist. He wrote a critique of Evangelical art a decade before his conversion titled Addicted to Mediocrity.

Everything I have seen about the guy in recent years suggests his life is a constant and belated reaction to his parents, who -- for good or ill -- helped frame the terms of the evangelical culture war.

In recent years, Frank has gotten involved in the usual bourgeois liberal causes, which chafes some Orthodox.

I don't care for his work and think his politics are boring.
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 03:42:15 PM »

This interview is top-notch and thoroughly fascinating. Regardless of what he did later in his life, he is speaking truth of Orthodoxy here in a very articulate and well-presented form. He also presents it in a confident and considerate manner, paying mind not to offend listeners and possible inquiriers.
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 05:09:03 PM »

Okay... Undecided What do you wish to discuss about this video?
I think many Protestants-turned-Orthodox go through something like Schaeffer went through. Though, I could be wrong, and Schaeffer is an anomaly.
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 05:20:13 PM »

It seems that Frank Schaeffer has left what could be called orthodox Christianity. http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2086

"According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality".

I personally feel little in communion with Frank, though I pray God will have mercy on us both.

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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 05:51:40 PM »

I know Bob Meyering, the interviewer. Good guy. I'd be personally more interested in the linked AFR interview with him than Frank Shaeffer, who strikes me as a kind of angry person, based on his articles I've read. Nonetheless, Frank has an interesting story. He's not someone I would personally direct potential converts to, however.

I might. Wink
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 06:21:33 PM »

I liked his father much better.
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 06:23:23 PM »

It seems to me after reading the article linked by Clemente that this Schaeffer guy is more interested in politics and selling his books than God. No wonder he left Christianity, or made his own version of it that is more in keeping with his political views.

So many get tripped up this way. It's sad. Amma Syncletica wins again... Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2012, 06:26:42 PM »

It seems that Frank Schaeffer has left what could be called orthodox Christianity. http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2086

"According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality".

I personally feel little in communion with Frank, though I pray God will have mercy on us both.
Interesting. I can't decide if he's being colorful to rebel against evangelicalism or if he is speaking at face value.

Either way, it's sad. I wonder if he realizes his statements make him sound like an overgrown child.
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2012, 06:32:15 PM »

I liked his father much better.

i've met a lot of people who feel the same way.  i'm one of them. 
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2012, 06:36:12 PM »

According to the link, he still seems to be a member of the Church.

Let us not claim the contrary until he either publicly renounces Orthodoxy or is anathemized, God forbid.

We are all struggling in some way (and anyone who claims he isn't is just lying to himself) and the Church is the hospital for our souls and bodies.
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2012, 07:16:31 PM »

I liked his father much better.

i've met a lot of people who feel the same way.  i'm one of them. 

I tried to thinking of a good multiple personality disorder joke I could make about you meeting yourself, but I drew a blank.  Sad
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2012, 07:17:10 PM »

I'm being baptized into Orthodoxy in two weeks (God willing) and I've still never heard of the guy!  Grin

Frank Schaffer is a moderately though not exceptionally talented artist. He wrote a critique of Evangelical art a decade before his conversion titled Addicted to Mediocrity.

Everything I have seen about the guy in recent years suggests his life is a constant and belated reaction to his parents, who -- for good or ill -- helped frame the terms of the evangelical culture war.

In recent years, Frank has gotten involved in the usual bourgeois liberal causes, which chafes some Orthodox.

I don't care for his work and think his politics are boring.
Yeah, i wish too his politics were truly radical, instead of merely liberal. But, come on, most Christian public voices around are only known for defending atrocious stuff. So, compared to those, he's much better. Plus making fun of evangelicals is ok; it makes them feel like they are persecuted because of jeezus
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2012, 07:35:06 PM »

According to the link, he still seems to be a member of the Church.

Let us not claim the contrary until he either publicly renounces Orthodoxy or is anathemized, God forbid.

We are all struggling in some way (and anyone who claims he isn't is just lying to himself) and the Church is the hospital for our souls and bodies.

This is a really good point, and I am sorry for posting as I did earlier. I am a bit jaded regarding such public about-face statements (I have seen way too many people implode, for many reasons), but this is no excuse. I hope for his own sake and the sake of those who follow his writings that he is receiving counsel from a dedicated spiritual father, as statements such as those in the article are cause for concern, if they are indeed representative of his current mindset and the teachings in his books.
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2012, 07:37:27 PM »

I'm not a huge fan of Schaeffer, but that's mostly because of his presentation. I don't keep up with him, and some of what was posted above seems to hint that his theology is a bit funky now, though I'd have to look into it more to really give an opinion.

Unlike a lot of folks here, I usually agree with his politics, though I generally dislike political people, and he's certainly too politically-minded for my liking, lol.
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2012, 07:41:06 PM »

i thought the OP wanted to talk about the video. does anyone have any comments/criticisms about the video in particular?
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2012, 07:52:05 PM »

i thought the OP wanted to talk about the video. does anyone have any comments/criticisms about the video in particular?

I really enjoyed it. I thought it was an honest interview. Schaeffer didn't sugar-coat what he thought, but he wasn't mean, either. I appreciated that, and would probably recommend it to some folks.
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2012, 10:01:14 PM »

It seems that Frank Schaeffer has left what could be called orthodox Christianity. http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2086

"According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality".

I personally feel little in communion with Frank, though I pray God will have mercy on us both.

Hmmm ... that article does contain a lot of bits and pieces of quotes. (It always annoys me when journalists do that.) Still, even without knowing his full statements, it definitely sounds like he said some pretty weird stuff.

Another one is

Quote
Schaeffer believes that “the God of the Bible [is] distinct from any deity that might be out there, he, she or it.”
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2012, 10:09:58 PM »

A few years back I heard his interview with Terry Gross, and he struck me as an agnostic.
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2012, 10:28:02 PM »

It seems that Frank Schaeffer has left what could be called orthodox Christianity. http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2086

"According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality".
Frank hasn't left Orthodox Christianity. When he speaks of the "stupidity of Christianity", he's referring to a Christianity based upon the privileging of reason and upon the idea that salvation is the acceptance of a set of rational statements. Schaeffer's Christianity (Orthodoxy) is a Christianity based upon the acknowledgement of the ultimate poverty of reason (and, thus, of "certainty" or mere "belief," in any "rational" statement) and salvation as a whole-bodily process that includes the mind and goes-beyond/under/penetrates-through it.
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2012, 11:20:54 PM »

We are all struggling in some way (and anyone who claims he isn't is just lying to himself) and the Church is the hospital for our souls and bodies.

True, but not all of us inject ourselves into the public conversation while we're struggling. He should deal with his bitterness in private, not air his dirty laundry before the world for decades on end.
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« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2012, 11:32:02 PM »

Decades? Is this something he has been doing for decades?
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« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2012, 11:37:40 PM »

Decades? Is this something he has been doing for decades?

I don't know if he's been consistently virulent, but he's been outspoken since the 90s at least. That video interview is pushing 20 years I'd wager.
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« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2012, 11:39:36 PM »

We are all struggling in some way (and anyone who claims he isn't is just lying to himself) and the Church is the hospital for our souls and bodies.

True, but not all of us inject ourselves into the public conversation while we're struggling. He should deal with his bitterness in private, not air his dirty laundry before the world for decades on end.

Even Asteriktos needs a role model to look up to, to honor, to emulate!
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« Reply #31 on: May 15, 2012, 04:27:21 AM »

I'm being baptized into Orthodoxy in two weeks (God willing) and I've still never heard of the guy!  Grin

Frank Schaffer is a moderately though not exceptionally talented artist. He wrote a critique of Evangelical art a decade before his conversion titled Addicted to Mediocrity.

Everything I have seen about the guy in recent years suggests his life is a constant and belated reaction to his parents, who -- for good or ill -- helped frame the terms of the evangelical culture war.

In recent years, Frank has gotten involved in the usual bourgeois liberal causes, which chafes some Orthodox.

I don't care for his work and think his politics are boring.

Part of the objection of some Orthodox to him is his support for legal abortion.  In fact, that is the major issue that those Orthodox who I've spoken with about Schaeffer have pointed out and talked about. 

But yeah, reading his memoir, he seems to have a lot of unresolved issues with his parents - who I was dismayed to see the, sometimes brutal, attack on (especially given the fact that his father is deceased and unable to defend himself - and his memoir certainly conveys a great deal of anger.
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« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2012, 08:51:18 AM »

Decades? Is this something he has been doing for decades?

I don't know if he's been consistently virulent, but he's been outspoken since the 90s at least. That video interview is pushing 20 years I'd wager.

yup. and he probably has a couple decades left in him too.
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« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2012, 08:59:30 AM »

It seems that Frank Schaeffer has left what could be called orthodox Christianity. http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2086

"According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality".
Frank hasn't left Orthodox Christianity. When he speaks of the "stupidity of Christianity", he's referring to a Christianity based upon the privileging of reason and upon the idea that salvation is the acceptance of a set of rational statements. Schaeffer's Christianity (Orthodoxy) is a Christianity based upon the acknowledgement of the ultimate poverty of reason (and, thus, of "certainty" or mere "belief," in any "rational" statement) and salvation as a whole-bodily process that includes the mind and goes-beyond/under/penetrates-through it.

On the recent thread "Catholic vs Christian" we discussed how some Catholics don't like to call themselves Christian. Schaeffer seems to be an example of a similar phenomenon among Orthodox.
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« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2012, 09:01:55 AM »

It seems that Frank Schaeffer has left what could be called orthodox Christianity. http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2086

"According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality".
Frank hasn't left Orthodox Christianity. When he speaks of the "stupidity of Christianity", he's referring to a Christianity based upon the privileging of reason and upon the idea that salvation is the acceptance of a set of rational statements. Schaeffer's Christianity (Orthodoxy) is a Christianity based upon the acknowledgement of the ultimate poverty of reason (and, thus, of "certainty" or mere "belief," in any "rational" statement) and salvation as a whole-bodily process that includes the mind and goes-beyond/under/penetrates-through it.

Reading his comments on the inspired Scriptures as being "full of dumb stuff" and that it was written by "bronze-age misogynists" to justify their mistreatment of women goes way beyond apophaticism, it is naked disdain.

Add to this his comments about the "stupidity of Christianity" and our freedom to make up our own perception of God, beliefs, and morality and then it really becomes problematic.

He may show up in an Orthodox parish on Sundays but by what stretch of the imagination can he still be considered an Orthodox believer?
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« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2012, 09:56:07 AM »

Add to this his comments about the "stupidity of Christianity" and our freedom to make up our own perception of God, beliefs, and morality and then it really becomes problematic.
I believe the part about the freedom to make up our own perception of God, etc., was an editorial interpretation of Frank, not a direct quote from Frank. In any event, I'd rather comment on Frank's quotes if I can see the total speech -- which, right now, seems more like a severe critique of evangelical scriptural fundamentalism, and an implicit argument for Orthodox apophaticism.
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« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2012, 10:33:36 AM »

Add to this his comments about the "stupidity of Christianity" and our freedom to make up our own perception of God, beliefs, and morality and then it really becomes problematic.
I believe the part about the freedom to make up our own perception of God, etc., was an editorial interpretation of Frank, not a direct quote from Frank. In any event, I'd rather comment on Frank's quotes if I can see the total speech -- which, right now, seems more like a severe critique of evangelical scriptural fundamentalism, and an implicit argument for Orthodox apophaticism.

I appreciate that you are giving him the benefit of the doubt but he says the same type of things regularly in his Huffpost articles if you want to check those out.
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« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2012, 10:38:36 AM »

Add to this his comments about the "stupidity of Christianity" and our freedom to make up our own perception of God, beliefs, and morality and then it really becomes problematic.
I believe the part about the freedom to make up our own perception of God, etc., was an editorial interpretation of Frank, not a direct quote from Frank. In any event, I'd rather comment on Frank's quotes if I can see the total speech -- which, right now, seems more like a severe critique of evangelical scriptural fundamentalism, and an implicit argument for Orthodox apophaticism.

I appreciate that you are giving him the benefit of the doubt but he says the same type of things regularly in his Huffpost articles if you want to check those out.
Yes, I've read them all, and would still make the same points.
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« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2012, 10:40:52 AM »

Reading his comments on the inspired Scriptures as being "full of dumb stuff" and that it was written by "bronze-age misogynists" to justify their mistreatment of women goes way beyond apophaticism, it is naked disdain.

Some people are highly suspicious of anything that's common to most or all Christians. I'm reminded of one time I was watching the show "Web of Faith" on EWTN; in one email a Catholic mentioned having been to a Catholic wake-service which included some reading from the bible. Her question was, Why couldn't they say the rosary rather than this "more protestant" way of doing it?

(Fr. Trigilio's started off his response by saying that she ought to be a bit more ecumenical, and not call Scripture readings "protestant". I said to myself "Ecumenical? That's funny, I would have said she ought to be a bit more Catholic!")
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« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2012, 10:52:44 AM »

Add to this his comments about the "stupidity of Christianity" and our freedom to make up our own perception of God, beliefs, and morality and then it really becomes problematic.
I believe the part about the freedom to make up our own perception of God, etc., was an editorial interpretation of Frank, not a direct quote from Frank. In any event, I'd rather comment on Frank's quotes if I can see the total speech -- which, right now, seems more like a severe critique of evangelical scriptural fundamentalism, and an implicit argument for Orthodox apophaticism.

I appreciate that you are giving him the benefit of the doubt but he says the same type of things regularly in his Huffpost articles if you want to check those out.
Yes, I've read them all, and would still make the same points.



I don't know how to respond to that except to say St. Nicholas slapped Arius for spewing as much error as Frank does.

Let's not be so intent on not judging that we lose our discernment which Scripture also commands.
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« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2012, 11:11:47 AM »

It seems that Frank Schaeffer has left what could be called orthodox Christianity. http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2086

"According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality".
Frank hasn't left Orthodox Christianity. When he speaks of the "stupidity of Christianity", he's referring to a Christianity based upon the privileging of reason and upon the idea that salvation is the acceptance of a set of rational statements. Schaeffer's Christianity (Orthodoxy) is a Christianity based upon the acknowledgement of the ultimate poverty of reason (and, thus, of "certainty" or mere "belief," in any "rational" statement) and salvation as a whole-bodily process that includes the mind and goes-beyond/under/penetrates-through it.

Reading his comments on the inspired Scriptures as being "full of dumb stuff" and that it was written by "bronze-age misogynists" to justify their mistreatment of women goes way beyond apophaticism, it is naked disdain.
In his reaction against his upbringing, where scripture was held in literalistic, inerrantist ways, Frank may go too far in the other direction, now and then.
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« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2012, 11:15:24 AM »

he says the same type of things regularly in his Huffpost articles if you want to check those out.

I haven't seen those. Do you have a link?
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« Reply #42 on: May 15, 2012, 11:44:23 AM »

Add to this his comments about the "stupidity of Christianity" and our freedom to make up our own perception of God, beliefs, and morality and then it really becomes problematic.
I believe the part about the freedom to make up our own perception of God, etc., was an editorial interpretation of Frank, not a direct quote from Frank. In any event, I'd rather comment on Frank's quotes if I can see the total speech -- which, right now, seems more like a severe critique of evangelical scriptural fundamentalism, and an implicit argument for Orthodox apophaticism.

I do not know what he said. I have pretty much read most of what he has written that is free that does not deal strictly with politics (he is a curiosity to me, I have been following him since he was an Iraq war defender). I think the editorial interpretation was from a blog of his this or last year. I did not come away with the impression given in the link. And any piece of writing that starts out with Franky, I consider a hit piece with questionable value. As far as I know he is still anti-abortion and rails against Roe V Wade. I think his emphasis has been, that given RvW exists, we would be more effective in ending abortion by putting our money and resources where our mouth is. Creating the social services necessary to prevent pregnancy and to care for the mother once the pregnancy has occurred. This is a steep cost and I think a tax on alcohol is a good way to go and perhaps movies and TV shows that promote thoughtless behavior.

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« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2012, 11:45:39 AM »

It seems that Frank Schaeffer has left what could be called orthodox Christianity. http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2086

"According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality".
Frank hasn't left Orthodox Christianity. When he speaks of the "stupidity of Christianity", he's referring to a Christianity based upon the privileging of reason and upon the idea that salvation is the acceptance of a set of rational statements. Schaeffer's Christianity (Orthodoxy) is a Christianity based upon the acknowledgement of the ultimate poverty of reason (and, thus, of "certainty" or mere "belief," in any "rational" statement) and salvation as a whole-bodily process that includes the mind and goes-beyond/under/penetrates-through it.

Reading his comments on the inspired Scriptures as being "full of dumb stuff" and that it was written by "bronze-age misogynists" to justify their mistreatment of women goes way beyond apophaticism, it is naked disdain.
In his reaction against his upbringing, where scripture was held in literalistic, inerrantist ways, Frank may go too far in the other direction, now and then.

I agree, Jetavan, although I would say he completely leaves Orthodoxy when he says Scripture was written by Bronze-Age misogynists trying to justify their sins. The Church of the Apostles agrees with St. Peter who said "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost".

Peter: I don't have links in front of me but if you go to Huffington Post and look up Schaeffer's articles you won't have to read very far before you wind up knee-deep in otherdoxy.
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« Reply #44 on: May 15, 2012, 02:02:22 PM »

It seems that Frank Schaeffer has left what could be called orthodox Christianity. http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2086

"According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality".
Frank hasn't left Orthodox Christianity. When he speaks of the "stupidity of Christianity", he's referring to a Christianity based upon the privileging of reason and upon the idea that salvation is the acceptance of a set of rational statements. Schaeffer's Christianity (Orthodoxy) is a Christianity based upon the acknowledgement of the ultimate poverty of reason (and, thus, of "certainty" or mere "belief," in any "rational" statement) and salvation as a whole-bodily process that includes the mind and goes-beyond/under/penetrates-through it.

Reading his comments on the inspired Scriptures as being "full of dumb stuff" and that it was written by "bronze-age misogynists" to justify their mistreatment of women goes way beyond apophaticism, it is naked disdain.
In his reaction against his upbringing, where scripture was held in literalistic, inerrantist ways, Frank may go too far in the other direction, now and then.

I agree, Jetavan, although I would say he completely leaves Orthodoxy when he says Scripture was written by Bronze-Age misogynists trying to justify their sins. The Church of the Apostles agrees with St. Peter who said "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost".
Are the two mutually incompatible?
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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