I may have popularized the term, “formerly fundie”, but Frank Schaeffer was living it out waaaay before I got here.
I had been a fan of Frank long before I ever started writing, and never imagined that Frank himself would become the one of the central people who would encourage me to have a seat at the table– but that’s what happened. If you know who I am today, it’s in large part because Frank Schaeffer was kind enough to let me stand on his shoulders for a moment. For his support and continued encouragement in my life, I will always be grateful.
Today, I’m still a big fan of Frank’s work, but I’m now also honored to say that he’s one of my friends.
Frank has written a lot of books, but his most recent is my absolute favorite. His new book, Why I’m An Atheist Who Believes In God: how to give love, create beauty and find peace is one I think everyone will love. This book is a masterpiece of authenticity as Frank brings us into his own personal story, and invites us to sit together in the tension between faith and doubt, certainty and disbelief, and between life and death. Why I’m An Atheist Who Believes In God is a book that you’ll find yourself instantly connecting with– it will inspire you, challenge you, and most importantly, it will give you permission to set aside labels and facade in favor of just simply living authentically. This book is Frank Schaeffer in his most authentic form, and will lead you to embrace yours.
This week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Frank at his home and talk to him about the book. I must admit, as I look back at the interview, I laugh at the irony: two guys famous for bashing fundamentalism end up talking affectionately about their fundamentalist pasts! Please, set aside a few minutes to watch the interview as you’ll see a side of Frank Schaeffer (and myself) that you may not be familiar with, as he invites you into his personal story while we explore “Why I’m An Atheist Who Believes In God”.
And when you’re done watching, you can get a copy of his book for FREE today and tomorrow only!
Enjoy both the interview and the free book– and please share! This offer is for today and tomorrow ONLY!
Here’s the deal: Get a FREE copy of –
WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace
Click on the Amazon button below and get your FREE Kindle copy any time on Friday May 30 or Sat May 31 ONLY!
NOTE THIS OFFER is only for: Friday, May 30 to May 31 so please act now!
Also, once you finish reading it, I’m sure Frank would appreciate you taking a quick minute to write him a review on Amazon.
10,000-plus people downloaded my book FREE on Kindle in the last 48 hours! If that’s you… THANK YOU! And thank you Ben for the interview! Best, Frank
Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frankschaeffer/2014/05/10000-plus-people-downloaded-my-book-free-on-kindle-in-the-last-48-hours-if-thats-you/#ixzz33Lo8WKMd
Can I just say what a pleasure it has been to discover your blog? I’ve shared this article and the one on gay Christians on Facebook & also read your “back-story”. I think I, too am a bit of a refugee from evangelicalism – having largely moved over to the Quakers. In some ways I’d like to think I’m still an evangelical, but I feel evangelicals have somehow even lost the traditional message of what the gospel is supposed to be about. I went once into a Victory Pentecostal church in Calgary (when on business – I live in the UK). At the end of a monumentally long service in which there was a rock band set, two impromptu sermons from the pastor before and after the collection (the second one being that the Holy Spirit prompted him to ask if we’d all like to give a bit more!) an immensely long planned sermon, and people going up to be prayed for and falling over, I spoke to a young engineering student from Calgary university. He told me “in this church we just like to hit ’em with the Gospel”. Looking back over the whole service, I don’t think I could recall the simple message of the Cross – it was drowned out in the rest of the noise. If I’d walked in off the street as an “unchurched” person, I would be none the wiser!
Anyway, keep up the good work!
Glad to have you as a reader– you are welcome here!
Frank Schaeffer is awesome. (You are awesome too!) Excited to read his book, and great interview!! I agree, there is peace in accepting the paradox.
but isn’t that agnostic rather than atheism?
Not sure if I’m understanding the question… the title of his book is a bit misleading. Frank would technically be classified as a Christian who is open and honest about his doubts. At least, that’s how I’d classify him.
dictionary defines atheist as a non-believer in god, and agnostic as
a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. so i guess my question is would an atheist that believes in god is a contradiction in terms? but i really enjoyed the interviewed and i am daily more impressed by you
Yes, you are correct in those definitions, and are correct that the title is a contradiction of terms. It’s one of those provocative book titles that makes you ask questions. He uses it to springboard into discussions on being real about doubt and days where you have disbelief. It’s sort of like the man in scripture who told Jesus “I believe, help me in my unbelief”. The subtitle of the book is a much better descriptor of what the actual content is about.
huh. well, when i was trying so hard to be a christian i used to pray that jesus would send me a mustard seed. alas, no such luck
I’m guessing the title is designed to be an attention-getter. One of the principles of advertising (and a book-title is advertising) is to grab the customer’s attention, then give them the information a bit down the line. You see that a lot in book and magazine titles.
I had a hard time classifying Frank even after a few conversations with him. I’m glad for that. Sometimes defining things removes the mystery and the chance to grow even further. The letter kills. I count him as a friend. Glad to see our journeys are so similar, Ben
I enjoy Frank’s perspective and as he, grew up in a similar context, as a son of an Evanglical Minister. However, unlike Frank I had to dismiss organized religion because of its creedalism and dogma and embraced and encounter the ‘Mystery’. Regarding Franks opinion of the diffrence of Religion vs. Spirituality, I must disagree. Religion is relying on another person’s experiences, beliefs expressions of the divine. Spirituality is based on our own personal experiences, expressions of the divine. Community (church) can as easily be found out of the church. Community is experiencing ‘Other’; outside of one self. If we are breathing, walking….we are participating in community (we just are good or not so good members). I appreciate Frank’s and your’s work and hope others find the freedom that you have from religious bondage.
Just discovered your blog, but I would like to know something.
Do you believe Jesus is Lord?
I’m not sure I’d say that you’ve “discovered” my blog if you have to ask that question.
Sorry if I seem so ignorant, but I would like to know.
If you don’t want to answer, just say so.
Benjamin, I enjoyed your interview with Frank. I find your perspective on things both refreshing and challenging. My grandmothers family came from Italy and settled in New Jersey. My grandmother’s brother Anthony Zeoli was a bad guy that ended up in prison. Aimee Semple McPherson was conducting a street meeting in Philadelphia and called out my grandmother from the crowd and she accepted Jesus right there on the street. My grandmother would visit her brother Anthony in prison and witness to him. He finally accepted the Lord and when he came out of prison he became a street preacher. He was known as the Walking Bible since he had memorized much of it. He was having a tent meeting when a 17 year old young man came one night and got saved, His name was Francis Schaffer. Anthony’s son is Billy Zeoli who started Gospel Films and was key in making films with Francis and setting up meetings for him in the US. He was also key in helping form merging Moral majority. My wife and I started a ministry called WOW International 24 years ago. We do huge inner-city outreaches called WOW JAMs in the poorest places in the US and around the world. I thought you might be interested in a bit of history and I would value your take on our approach to reaching people with the love of Jesus and getting people out of the pew and into the streets. Our website is wow jam.com if you would like to take a look. God bless you in your efforts.
Don’t feel bad Benjamin, I’ve had a dramatic change in my life since I left SWBTS in the 1980s. My denomination was taken over by nothing by fundamentalists ( SBC) who rival the religious leaders in Tehran.
I live in Deep East Texas and it is controlled by Baptists and Pentecostals to the point I am told on a regular basis that because I don’t attend church, I’m going to hell.
On another note, we visited Maine this past October and loved the state.
Wow, I ask a serious question that is part of my own search, and I am met with ridicule?
Heck, I can get that at atheist hate sites.
I think I can dispense with this blog…Benjamin’s non answer actually tells me what I want to know.
The evasive answer was because you’re on a Christian blog by a Christian theologian… it should be obvious. Plus, there’s even a button up top that lists out my core beliefs, including my bio. So, yes- obviously, since I am a Christian, I would affirm that “Jesus is Lord”.
Kerry, the religious leaders in Tehran torture and kill dissenters. How does the SBC leadership rival that?
I’m just another sojourner on the journey . . .
From his Core Beliefs tab…
“1. Jesus is our example, teacher, friend, redeemer and Lord.”