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Franky Schaeffer: “Belief Is Useless”
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Franky Schaeffer speaks at Countryside Community Church in Nebraska. (Photo credit: IRD) Frank Schaeffer has been telling audiences across America that he “[faults] fundamentalism, all fundamentalism for any kind of absolute certainty.” To Schaeffer, the son of L’Abri founders and evangelical leaders, Francis and Edith Schaeffer, “absolute certainty” is dangerous because “with absolute certainties go blanket generalizations.” He claims that “progressive Christians and non-Christians, atheists and agnostics, and other people tend to generalize about their opponents and their own faith with as much absolute certainty sometimes as the very people they are criticizing for absolute certainty.” The elder Francis Schaeffer, before his 1984 death, was a major intellectual influence on conservative evangelicals in the U.S. Originally his son, Frank was active in conservative evangelical circles. But in recent years he has specialized in scorching critiques of evangelicals and more broadly of Christianity, despite his active participation in the Greek Orthodox Church. Frank Schaeffer’s solution to the supposed pitfalls of faith evidently is to believe nothing at all. He told an audience at Country side Community Church in Omaha, Nebraska on January 26, 2012 that “what matters is not belief, because you can never believe correctly because life is not long enough to know anything ... but what you can do is work on the content of your own character given the journey you’ve got.” Schaeffer was once a self-described “founder” of the “religious right,” which he now vehemently opposes. His transition from “fundamentalism” to unbelief “wasn’t a crisis of faith, but a crisis of identity,” after he became deeply involved with the “religious right.” After reaching adulthood and leaving his parents’ home in Switzerland and coming to the United States, Schaeffer found himself “all of a sudden in Jerry Falwell’s private jet,” on a “high powered conveyor belt … that whisked us off to another planet of the religious right.” Schaeffer claimed it ultimately “turned out to be a mixture of power hungry lunatics, absolute flakes, money grubbing in a context that just blew me away … because my father was not a flake.” The major problem, he explained, was that “I was turning into a real jerk …
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