Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God

I was interested to read Frank Schaeffer's latest book, Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in GOD: How to Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace. Partly because he is the son of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. Partly because his spiritual journey has been tortuous and tumultuous, to say the least. And also partly because I thought he might challenge my thinking and living and maybe even give me a new perspective or two.

I was wrong.

I was strangely touched, early on in the book, by his portrayal of himself as a man who often doesn't believe in God but can't stop praying...or praying with his grandchildren. I loved his statement, "Embracing paradox helped me discover that religion is a neurological disorder for which faith is the only cure." And I found it compelling when he said, "To the extent I choose to go, church is one of the places I may offer my grandchildren a vision of life that is about more than status, stuff, education and money."

But I couldn't even finish the book. I got halfway through and, while I found parts of his story to be interesting, even captivating, I started to feel yucky (look it up, it's a theological term). His frustratingly a priori pronouncements seemed to be laced with so much bitterness and acerbity that I just couldn't keep going (he even looks mean and grumpy on the book cover!).

Maybe I should have stuck with it in the hopes of getting to the "Give love, create beauty, and find peace" part. But life is too short, and it would have taken too long...if it ever did get to that).

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