Customer Reviews for

Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Life is messy, even for Christians

This a sometimes serious, surprisingly funny, but honest portrayal of what life was like growing up as the son of one of the most well-know evangelical leaders of the 1960's and '70's. As the son of a minister myself, I can relate to being 'folded into' into the ministr...
This a sometimes serious, surprisingly funny, but honest portrayal of what life was like growing up as the son of one of the most well-know evangelical leaders of the 1960's and '70's. As the son of a minister myself, I can relate to being 'folded into' into the ministry of my parents. I can also relate to having lots of strangers in my home night and day and a sense, whether real or imagined, that the my parents thought 'the work of the Lord' was more important than me or my interests. I can remember, like Frank Schaeffer, being forbidden to dance, go to movies or even join the cub scouts because it was on the same night as mid-week prayer service. I , like Schaeffer, felt different from all the other kids. And like Frank Schaeffer, my parents had their battles and my preacher dad had an explosive temper. Like Frank's dad, my dad never showed his temper outside the home. It made me also question my faith and Christianity. Unlike Frank however, I now consider myself an agnostic for several reasons, only one being the way I was raised.

posted by Anonymous on April 4, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Should have waited

This book is an interesting look into the life of Frankie Schaeffer the son of prominent Christians Edith and Francis Schaeffer of L'Abri fame and gives the reader a perspective of the ups and downs of being the offspring of extremely busy, driven people during an excit...
This book is an interesting look into the life of Frankie Schaeffer the son of prominent Christians Edith and Francis Schaeffer of L'Abri fame and gives the reader a perspective of the ups and downs of being the offspring of extremely busy, driven people during an exciting period of time in American politics. In addition, Schaeffer's writing style means easy reading, and insightful, interesting, and humorous takes on some sensitive topics. But, I rated this book just ok because when you get down to it, most of the book is about what appears to be self-justification for questionable behavior on his part. In striving to justify himself he trashes the world around him, including his parents and ends up bringing their honesty and integrity into question. In the process he proceeds to mock not only them, who he confessed loved him dearly, but also associates and teachers. And, he does so in a manner that can only be termed ¿cruel¿ especially to those unable to defend themselves at this point in time. To his credit he does manage to recognize and confess some of his failures, but seems to lack the fortitude to acknowledge they were based on his desires, not his parents or peers. After all, he admits to being the dominant personally who was driven to have his way. And, by taking advantage of his parents love for him, always seemed to get it to the detriment of the L¿Abri community. As someone who respected Edith and Francis Schaeffer particularly for their work in the area of Christian Apologetics, and having talked with a number of individuals whose lives were changed for the positive by having had the opportunity to spend time at L¿Abri, I found his treatment of his parents and many of his friends, disappointing. It is an interesting book, but I think it may have been written too soon. Perhaps the writer is still on a journey of sorts when it comes to deciding who he really is and what he believes about his parents and the events that transpired. I wish he had waited a few more years down the road. Time has a way of putting things in perspective and I suspect the picture painted by Schaeffer is a bit distorted by guilt and perhaps disappointment in self. I would like to see him write more on the same topic 5 years from now.

posted by Anonymous on June 18, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    Life is messy, even for Christians

    This a sometimes serious, surprisingly funny, but honest portrayal of what life was like growing up as the son of one of the most well-know evangelical leaders of the 1960's and '70's. As the son of a minister myself, I can relate to being 'folded into' into the ministry of my parents. I can also relate to having lots of strangers in my home night and day and a sense, whether real or imagined, that the my parents thought 'the work of the Lord' was more important than me or my interests. I can remember, like Frank Schaeffer, being forbidden to dance, go to movies or even join the cub scouts because it was on the same night as mid-week prayer service. I , like Schaeffer, felt different from all the other kids. And like Frank Schaeffer, my parents had their battles and my preacher dad had an explosive temper. Like Frank's dad, my dad never showed his temper outside the home. It made me also question my faith and Christianity. Unlike Frank however, I now consider myself an agnostic for several reasons, only one being the way I was raised.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2008

    Should have waited

    This book is an interesting look into the life of Frankie Schaeffer the son of prominent Christians Edith and Francis Schaeffer of L'Abri fame and gives the reader a perspective of the ups and downs of being the offspring of extremely busy, driven people during an exciting period of time in American politics. In addition, Schaeffer's writing style means easy reading, and insightful, interesting, and humorous takes on some sensitive topics. But, I rated this book just ok because when you get down to it, most of the book is about what appears to be self-justification for questionable behavior on his part. In striving to justify himself he trashes the world around him, including his parents and ends up bringing their honesty and integrity into question. In the process he proceeds to mock not only them, who he confessed loved him dearly, but also associates and teachers. And, he does so in a manner that can only be termed ¿cruel¿ especially to those unable to defend themselves at this point in time. To his credit he does manage to recognize and confess some of his failures, but seems to lack the fortitude to acknowledge they were based on his desires, not his parents or peers. After all, he admits to being the dominant personally who was driven to have his way. And, by taking advantage of his parents love for him, always seemed to get it to the detriment of the L¿Abri community. As someone who respected Edith and Francis Schaeffer particularly for their work in the area of Christian Apologetics, and having talked with a number of individuals whose lives were changed for the positive by having had the opportunity to spend time at L¿Abri, I found his treatment of his parents and many of his friends, disappointing. It is an interesting book, but I think it may have been written too soon. Perhaps the writer is still on a journey of sorts when it comes to deciding who he really is and what he believes about his parents and the events that transpired. I wish he had waited a few more years down the road. Time has a way of putting things in perspective and I suspect the picture painted by Schaeffer is a bit distorted by guilt and perhaps disappointment in self. I would like to see him write more on the same topic 5 years from now.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2008

    Thanks for sharing your journey!

    I just finished reading, 'Crazy For God', my how this story hit home for me in our journey of faith and life. I know that no two journeys are the same, but the lessons learned and the perspectives shared in this journal of life seem to touch on some familiar themes in our life. To Frank I would say - 'Thank you for your courage and your families courage to tell your story! I am deeply touched by your boldness to tell this story with honest vulnerable transparency. I love the fact that you took a step of courage and shared your doubts of God and even at one point questioned his existence. You are putting to paper what all of us have wrestled with in our minds, but are too fearful to admit. Thanks for sharing the worts of your humanity as well! It was a breath of fresh cool clean air to breath.'

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2007

    Important Reading for Courageous Believers

    I just finished reading this book, and am very thankful that I did. Having lauded Francis Schaeffer back when I was a college student, and thinking that he was the 'thinking person's' Christian, I now see the struggles within the man and the family. What a shame that Francis Schaeffer himself wasn't able to write about his own torn inner self so that we humans who thought we knew him could know him even better than what his son has been able to provide, insight-wise. However, the book that Frank 'the little sh*t from Switzerland' as others called him, has written, is more than good enough. I found myself and my own struggles in many of his. That whole feeling of being a traitor if you question what you had heretofore believed. For the past few years, I have gone through my own crisis of faith, wondering what I believed, or indeed, even IF I believed. I find I still do believe--for now--but not as I did before I had so many unanswerable questions. It's interesting to me that Frank Schaeffer does not get more explicit about his own faith, how it looks, what he believes in, but focuses more on how nutty his upbringing was and how some of the family have mellowed with time, and others have not been able to get over their allegiance to what they were once taught to consider gospel truth. His description of his wife Genie leads the reader to believe that her love and acceptance of him 'teenagers when they married' has a lot to do with him being able to be himself. I congratulate them on their commitment to their marriage and to each other. Rather than think of Frank Schaeffer's 'walking away from the faith of his childhood' as some kind of failure, I think it more indicative of the maturing of faith that his father and mother probably would have loved to be able to give themselves and each other, had there not been such external 'and internal' pressure to continue on the same constricted path that they had originally begun to forge. This is good reading for anyone who calls himself a Christian--whether you are one who thinks you have all the answers, or, as Frank Schaeffer himself admits--has often been wrong about what he believed.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    emotional thinking

    This guy based his crusade against abortion on emotional thinking. It did not take into account the horrendous consequences of an unwanted pregnancy or child. Nor how it would split the US apart. I believe he wrote this to absolve his conscious from being a general screw-up when he was a wild teen and getting a girl to go to bed with him and getting pregnant. Also, his subsequent mea culpa for have too much ego and getting all the money from his presentations, PLEASE give me a break one whole paragraph. Then he tantalizingly throws out barbs against Billy Graham, James Dobson, Jerry Fallwell, Pat Robertson, etc. But these are just acusations of greed and averice (which most thinking progressives are very aware of). But the writer does nothing to back up his allegations.
    Finally, he champions the unborn but does nothing for the born. There is the rub. Also, he starts in about partial birth abortions it is obvious he knows nothing about which he speaks. I suggest a volunteering in a big metropolitan hosp for about a month and see how many of these are done. I was in nursing for 35 years and attended many birthings and not once did I see this procedure done. My understanding is it is only done in extreamus to save the mother's life and cannot be reconciled any other way. I would suggest before Mr. Shaefer goes on another money making crusade (that he does not have a clear understanding of) that he do some research first. I might add a lot of research.
    Thank you

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Much-Needed Expose

    Not much more to say than that we need many, many more books that tell the truth in an era of lies, propaganda, and media manipulation. That it is a fantastic blend of history and memoir makes it all the better. That this story has been ruminating for decades, shaping domestic and foreign policy, religious freedoms and rights, and is ultimately destroying America...well, it not only sickens me, but scares me to death. Plus, I had a few laughs, as well! Frank Schaeffer is a gifted writer.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    Imagine trying to explain your life - good, bad, inconsistent, embarrassments - everything. That's pretty much what Frank Schaeffer has done in ¿Crazy for God.¿ Having read many of the criticisms from those who can't seem to come to grips with the concept of Francis and Edith Schaeffer being less than models of perfection, I have to question whether those individuals finished reading this memoir. I find a Frank Schaeffer who painstakingly tries to share his struggles, doubts, shortcomings, regrets, failures, and - finally - his coming to terms with his father, mother, wife, children, and faith. I find Mr. Schaeffer to be much harder on himself 'and his work' in this book than on anyone else. Schaeffer does something else - he allows us to get the perspectives of his friends, siblings, and children. He seems to give them all the room they need to share their memories and offer their slants on the events in their shared experiences. Chapter 25 is a must read for everyone who has ever attended a prayer meeting. Having more than a passing familiarity with at least two of the worlds Mr. Schaeffer exposes 'the political and the evangelical', I find his accounts to ring with more truth than most in either camp would care to admit. In the end, we find a man who is more interested in dealing with life in all of its inconsistencies and nuances than in defining everything in a simplistic ¿black/white - us/them¿ fashion. I would recommend this book for anyone who is ready to wrestle with some of their own preconceived notions about themselves and their beliefs.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2007

    Courage and Crazy

    Thought provoking, funny, courageous, and poignant. What a fascinating life. In his new book, Crazy for God, Frank Schaeffer is willing to share his journey as it winds its way through private and public personalities and situations. The youngest child of the famous and gifted Francis and Edith Schaeffer, Frank brings us his unique story with particular authority, credibility and courage. It takes courage to speak up now while so many people in this book are still living. They are in the American and European public as well as in his family. This memoir is Frank's journey, with his experiences, continued faith, and open critical self-evaluation. We should all be so honest

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Insider Tell All

    While Schaeffer gives a great behind the scenes look at the rise of fundementalist christianity and the religious right during the 70s theres a hint of envy here too. Seems like Schaeffer making his dad into the one true pioneer of those days and every other fundementalist leader a copy cat who imitaded his fathers genius if not simple minded charlatens. Schaeffer does the usual apologia for his own shortcomings and ruthlessly washes the famlies dirty laundry in public mostly to excuse and justify himself while laying claim to his fathers mantle for his own aggrandizement. Horrifically self serving the book reads like a confession at an AA meeting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    Crazy for God

    The Author certainly did have a personal committment to details of his experience. Some of the details were not of interest to me as a reader but the overall content and conclusions I DID resonate with.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is a great indictment of the religious right in America told from the perspective of someone who was there from the beginning. It is insightful and at the same time amusing as it puts a face to the evangelical movement and gives some insights into how it started, how it was twisted, and where it went wrong.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Decent memoir

    This memoir is well-written, but I found my enjoyment hampered by the unlikeable nature of most of the main figures. While this provides evidence that Schaeffer was probably presenting an accurate portrait (not least of himself), it makes it hard to root for any of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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