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#1 Margaret in CO

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 12:38 PM

I'm reading Crazy for God and I must admit, I'm shocked! I'm shocked by the nasty tone and the back-biting. Is the religious right really this horrible? I love Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's For the Children's Sake--is she really a nut case that basically quit living her life in her 50's? Is How Should We then Live all a pack of lies? Has anyone else read this book? I want to reread Frank's books about his Marine son, John.

#2 Miss Marple

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 12:59 PM

I'm reading Crazy for God and I must admit, I'm shocked! I'm shocked by the nasty tone and the back-biting. Is the religious right really this horrible? I love Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's For the Children's Sake--is she really a nut case that basically quit living her life in her 50's? Is How Should We then Live all a pack of lies? Has anyone else read this book? I want to reread Frank's books about his Marine son, John.


Several years ago I looked up some of the siblings' responses to his book. They are online. They do not support their brother's perceptions. FWIW, I have heard he is interested in a movie deal and some people feel that is his motivation behind the book. I, too, have a sibling who would describe our family life/growing up in vastly different terms than my sister or I would use. Every family has issues - even those we hold up as "leaders" in our respective religious denominations. I'm sure Francis and Edith were not perfect, but I believe they had a love for their family and their ministry, and they have other children who have continued that ministry. That speaks well for them, IMO. I think Frank is a flake (as is my sister) :D - but that's just my opinion :001_smile:

ETA: I think Frank was a rebellious spoiled teenager who probably caused much angst and anxiety to his parents. I think his parents were stymied perhaps in their response to that due to the time period in which they lived and raised their kids (much more worried about causing further harm by discipline). My sister was similar. She was the one that caused constant turmoil in our family and my parents were at their wits end to accommodate her every complaint. Sometimes these kids need a swift bout of reality (justice) rather than trying to reason with them.

Edited by CynthiaOK, 24 February 2011 - 01:08 PM.


#3 Gooblink

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 01:05 PM

I've never heard of Frank Schaeffer. :confused:

I quit subscribing to conservative Christian newsletters because of the haughty, self-righteous tone. I'm not sure who constitutes the "religious right," but that's more a political term, I think, and not an accurate label for all conservative, much less all evangelical, Christians. :001_smile:

#4 Jami

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 01:08 PM

Here is Os Guinness' review of the book:
http://www.booksandc...arapr/1.32.html

Shoot, it doesn't show the full thing.

You can Google for some discussion of the back and forth between Os (who served at L'Abri with the Schaeffers for years) and Frank.

Others that I know who worked at L'Abri are appalled at the book. Certainly there were flaws in the family and in the subculture. But Frank Schaeffer's complete lack of honor and grace toward his parents is despicable.

Edited by Jami, 24 February 2011 - 01:13 PM.


#5 Miss Marple

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 01:47 PM

Here is another link that discusses the issue and Os's review since the above link requires one to purchase membership: http://www.heartsand...iews_crazy_for/

#6 silliness7

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 02:20 PM

I'm a conservative Christian a mild Schaeffer fan. Actually Edith made me think I'd never live up. I was intimidated by her books. I read Crazy for God out of curiosity. It was very interesting to me. It helped put a human face on this amazing family. I took it with a huge grain of salt. HUGE. Frank does seem like a troubled soul and saw his family through his own peculiar lens. But I was selfishly relieved that they weren't the perfect family that I had built up in my head. :001_huh:
Not a nice thing to admit.

#7 Kathleen in VA

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 02:45 PM

I would not characterize Frank Schaeffer as "the religious right." He is not conservative. His books about his son are touching - I've read them - and I appreciate his pov. But he uses language I think most folks who call themselves conservative would find appalling - I know I did. I, too, researched him further because I was intrigued that such a person could emerge from the family I had imagined after reading L'Abri by Edith Schaeffer. I've not read the book you mentioned, but I caution you not to use Frank Schaeffer's writings as a peek into the conservative Christian mind.

#8 Margaret in CO

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:37 PM

Well, that was my thought--surely if these other religious people were so awful we would have heard about it???? I found all of Os's review:
http://blog.beliefne...zy-for-god.html
I'm glad others agree that Frank is basically a spoiled brat. I wonder if there is a movie in the making????

#9 lmkzbcb

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:50 PM

@ Margaret in CO - I dont wonder "if", I wonder "when".
Of course, I dont think Hollywood can present it much of a true story unless they get someone to corroborate. So, for the sake of "marketing", it maybe be awhile.

#10 TechWife

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 07:34 PM

I'm reading Crazy for God and I must admit, I'm shocked! I'm shocked by the nasty tone and the back-biting. Is the religious right really this horrible? I love Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's For the Children's Sake--is she really a nut case that basically quit living her life in her 50's? Is How Should We then Live all a pack of lies? Has anyone else read this book? I want to reread Frank's books about his Marine son, John.


Just wanted to be sure that you are differentiating between Francis Schaeffer and his son & namesake, known by his nickname, Frank Schaeffer. Francis wrote How Should We Then Live? Keep in mind that Crazy for God is basically Frank's memoir and is therefore his side of the story and his impressions.

ETA Never mind - for some reason it didn't dawn on me earlier that if you had read Crazy for God, then you already know who's who. Sorry about that.

Edited by TechWife, 24 February 2011 - 07:48 PM.


#11 Margaret in CO

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:20 PM

It IS confusing as Frank Schaeffer wrote under Franky Schaeffer when he was milking the evangelical Christian populace. I'm not done with Crazy yet, but just hit the part when he's explaining how he was such a lousy director that he had to steal pork chops! Hardly something to be proud of. He's so down on his parents, but doesn't seem to have read his children's comments about how he really didn't parent them--not any better than what he claimed his parents did. It's just a weird book--it's like he's proud of being a mess-up!

Yeah, we have a family member that has a different "memory" of how she was raised. Well, maybe we DON'T have this member any more as no one has seen her in years... :lol:

#12 catalinakel

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:02 PM

I would not characterize Frank Schaeffer as "the religious right." He is not conservative. His books about his son are touching - I've read them - and I appreciate his pov. But he uses language I think most folks who call themselves conservative would find appalling - I know I did. I, too, researched him further because I was intrigued that such a person could emerge from the family I had imagined after reading L'Abri by Edith Schaeffer. I've not read the book you mentioned, but I caution you not to use Frank Schaeffer's writings as a peek into the conservative Christian mind.


I agree. That book put a really bad taste in my mouth for Frankie, but not anybody else.

#13 laundrycrisis

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:08 PM

I read it and found it honest and touching. I really enjoyed it. I went on to read Patience With God as well. I think of these books as one man sharing his experience of his personal journey.

#14 Dobela

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:28 PM

I don't have a clue about the books you are discussing. I thought this was a thread about Frank Schaeffer school products and teacher materials when I opened it....

#15 laundrycrisis

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:59 PM

I don't have a clue about the books you are discussing. I thought this was a thread about Frank Schaeffer school products and teacher materials when I opened it....


http://www.amazon.co...98606282&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co...98606330&sr=8-1

#16 lovemyboys

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:29 PM

Several years ago I looked up some of the siblings' responses to his book. They are online. They do not support their brother's perceptions. FWIW, I have heard he is interested in a movie deal and some people feel that is his motivation behind the book. I, too, have a sibling who would describe our family life/growing up in vastly different terms than my sister or I would use. Every family has issues - even those we hold up as "leaders" in our respective religious denominations. I'm sure Francis and Edith were not perfect, but I believe they had a love for their family and their ministry, and they have other children who have continued that ministry. That speaks well for them, IMO. I think Frank is a flake (as is my sister) :D - but that's just my opinion :001_smile:

ETA: I think Frank was a rebellious spoiled teenager who probably caused much angst and anxiety to his parents. I think his parents were stymied perhaps in their response to that due to the time period in which they lived and raised their kids (much more worried about causing further harm by discipline). My sister was similar. She was the one that caused constant turmoil in our family and my parents were at their wits end to accommodate her every complaint. Sometimes these kids need a swift bout of reality (justice) rather than trying to reason with them.


What you've said here is what I remember hearing when his book first came out.

It must be tough to be the offspring of famous parents. If one of those kids doesn't agree with everything the parents did or said, and wants to make a name for him/herself, there are plenty of people to take him up on it. Look at Ron Reagan or the Buckley son, as well as Frank Schaeffer.

And then there are dozens of Hollywood offspring to mention.... for every Michael Douglas or Candice Bergen or Ben Stiller, there are many more who are forever famous only as "so-and-so's offspring." It would be tough to find one's one space in the world in comparison to the famous, well-respected parents.

Even in families without a lot of drama, the memories about our childhood, events, family relationships, etc. is quite variable. I'm often surprised at family reunions how things are remembered, sometimes it's a matter of perspective. One memory I have of a big family gathering (when I was about 10) was interesting to hear remembered by those who were teens and adults....I was too young to be aware of some of the nuances.

But I do think it's a shame when children of famous people feel the burning need to knock their parents off some imaginary pedestal. They don't do it til they're dead and gone, unable to defend themselves.

#17 Margaret in CO

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:13 AM

I finished the book this evening--I swear I think the man is nuts! He swings from one extreme to another, going on and on about his wonderful conversion to Greek Orthodoxy, but then wonders if there is a God???? He finally bought pork chops to replace all the ones that he'd stolen, but never goes to the store and 'fesses up. He does, at least, give credit to his long-suffering wife...

#18 mommaduck

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:26 AM

I haven't read this book, but I am in the middle of his book Dancing Alone. It's a pretty good book so far.

@ the comment on his conversion and doubts: How dare a Christian ever admit to their failings and doubts :glare: Give the author credit for being honest (and the one doesn't have anything to do with the other...and I don't know anything about pork chops)

Edited by mommaduck, 25 February 2011 - 09:28 AM.


#19 mommaduck

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:31 AM

Even in families without a lot of drama, the memories about our childhood, events, family relationships, etc. is quite variable. I'm often surprised at family reunions how things are remembered, sometimes it's a matter of perspective. One memory I have of a big family gathering (when I was about 10) was interesting to hear remembered by those who were teens and adults....I was too young to be aware of some of the nuances.


:iagree: If I wrote a book and the one brother that grew up with me wrote a book, you might see a couple of similar things, but the overall story would be so different because our perspectives were so different due to age difference, favoritism in the family, personalities and values, etc. You probably would not even know we grew up in the same household.

#20 Margaret in CO

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:51 AM

It's not that he talks about the failings of his parents, it that he does it in such a hateful way! I can discuss with my brother and sister some of the oddities of our upbringing, but not in such a way that the purpose is to sow hatred. Of course, my perception of my family will differ from my sibs--they're older, but you do have to wonder about the agenda of someone that seems to have been on a different planet... And when no one else, either in the family or close friends, have seen the behavior that you claim was 24/7, you have to wonder about the veracity of such. I have a sil that thinks she grew up in the most abusive household ever, but NO ONE, not any of her sibs ever remember theses out of control incidents. Since she claims they happened day after day, one wonders, ay, one wonders...

#21 mommaduck

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:58 AM

It's not that he talks about the failings of his parents, it that he does it in such a hateful way! I can discuss with my brother and sister some of the oddities of our upbringing, but not in such a way that the purpose is to sow hatred. Of course, my perception of my family will differ from my sibs--they're older, but you do have to wonder about the agenda of someone that seems to have been on a different planet... And when no one else, either in the family or close friends, have seen the behavior that you claim was 24/7, you have to wonder about the veracity of such. I have a sil that thinks she grew up in the most abusive household ever, but NO ONE, not any of her sibs ever remember theses out of control incidents. Since she claims they happened day after day, one wonders, ay, one wonders...


Yes, well, again, it would be similar in my family...many may choose not to believe me either because they either weren't there, were too young to remember things that I remember, and weren't the target. So where things may look hunky dory, they may not always have been. People are good at hiding and putting on a show. Or people view different things as abusive that others do not (see hair thread).

#22 Cafelattee

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 11:10 AM

If I have the right guy in mind. He is hateful in his view of his parents because he now has a hateful rebellious attitude toward Christianity which he associates with his parents. He even says he is a Christian but really he is just an apostate

I have heard to many people raised in Christan home that rebel or thing there parents were hypocrites that tend to be outright hateful toward the parents and Christianity. IMO this is were he is coming from.

As for some sibling remembering their parents differently well that normal. Parents change as they get older. They usually learn and become better parents but this is not always so. The parent can get into a sinful life of some type and become a worst parents.

My DH was neglected and abuse by his father but the same father was a loving father to his sister. The sister just does not understand why DH has always been so withdrawn from the family.

#23 chiguirre

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:04 PM

I read that book, but mainly as a memoir of a (partially) homeschooled adult. A lot of this guy's issues revolve around being dyslexic and not really being educated by either his parents (who had his sister Susan try to teach him when she was a teenager or young adult) or the local English school (that's not equipped to deal with LDs either). OTOH, he's written an awful lot of books, so I guess he compensated for his dyslexia.

#24 AmyP

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:43 PM

I finished this book this morning. I have to say, I really enjoyed reading it. Of course, I had never heard of the Schaeffer's before this (at least not that I remember).

He had some harsh memories of his family, but he had many fond memories, too, and I came away with the feeling that he loved them very much, but chose a different path. I'm not saying his account of his family life is 100% accurate, but that doesn't bother me. It's his story.

I don't find myself looking harshly upon his parents, but instead looking at them as being human.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book and reading about tortuous path he took with his life. I often feel like I've taken a pretty tortuous route myself.

#25 laundrycrisis

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 07:43 PM

He had some harsh memories of his family, but he had many fond memories, too, and I came away with the feeling that he loved them very much, but chose a different path. I'm not saying his account of his family life is 100% accurate, but that doesn't bother me. It's his story.

I don't find myself looking harshly upon his parents, but instead looking at them as being human.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book and reading about tortuous path he took with his life. I often feel like I've taken a pretty tortuous route myself.


:iagree:

I also want to add that if I had only read Crazy for God, I might have had a more negative impression, because there was a lot of anger expressed in that book. But since I also went on to read Patience With God, the overall effect of the two books is blended in my mind. To me the second book is more about acceptance and resolution of many of his feelings, and finding his own way. I found the second book to be more positive, humble, peaceful, and very loving. I also admire the courage I think it must take to publish such personal details and be so open about his own low points and mistakes.

#26 kokotg

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 07:55 PM

I finished Crazy for God earlier this week...I'm still not entirely sure what I think about it. I guess my impression was that Frank Schaeffer is kind of a jerk (a view of him that the book itself suggests that most people who know him share or have shared at some point). He's very hard on his parents and his tone is often bitter and sarcastic, but he's also hard on himself (and prints letters from his daughter in which she exhibits the same lack of tact and mercy about him that he shows towards his parents). In many places, he's also very sympathetic to his parents and seems to value his relationships with them.

The things he actually says (as opposed to the way he says them) are not, by and large, all that scathing. His parents had a sometimes rocky marriage and parented him largely through benign neglect. There's a lot of posturing for money and political power among some of the leaders in the religious right, and some people are in it more for that than out of sincere religious conviction. Honestly, I didn't feel like any of these things were hard to believe or shockers, especially. But I don't think I'd much care for the guy if I met him, either.


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