Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm Not Surprised By This

"This" being an interview with Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer, a prominent Evangelical Christian leader back in the day when I was heavily involved in that movement.  What is unsurprising to me is that, like me, he found the ability to walk away from it.  Schaeffer's father styled himself as a philosopher, but he was in fact the most rigid of theocrats, eschewing a real philosopher's openness of mind for a relentless effort to shoehorn facts into a cramped "Christian" view of world history and modern society.

Schaeffer, on the other hand, was much more intelligent and open-minded.  In the 1980's, he wrote a book called "Addicted to Mediocrity," in which he chastised modern evangelical culture for its bland, cliched commercialism, and contrasted it negatively both with Christian art in the Renaissance and Reformation, as well as with non-Christian contemporary culture.  In hindsight, it seems almost too clear that both of us were predestined--ordained, perhaps?--to walk away from a movement that exulted belief and obedience over reason and critical thinking.

Those who are still wrapped up in that movement would do well to ask and answer this question:  If God (or whom/whatever) only wanted us to believe, why did He/She/It/They give us the ability to think?

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