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Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in GOD: How to Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace
     

Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in GOD: How to Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace

4.5 2
by Frank Schaeffer
 

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Caught between the beauty of his grandchildren and grief over a friend's death, Frank Schaeffer finds himself simultaneously believing and not believing in God - an atheist who prays. Schaeffer wrestles with faith and disbelief, sharing his innermost thoughts with lyricism that only great writers of literary nonfiction achieve. Schaeffer writes as an imperfect son,

Overview

Caught between the beauty of his grandchildren and grief over a friend's death, Frank Schaeffer finds himself simultaneously believing and not believing in God - an atheist who prays. Schaeffer wrestles with faith and disbelief, sharing his innermost thoughts with lyricism that only great writers of literary nonfiction achieve. Schaeffer writes as an imperfect son, husband and grandfather whose love for his family, art and life trumps the ugly theologies of an angry God and the atheist vision of a cold, meaningless universe. Schaeffer writes that only when we abandon our hunt for certainty do we become free to create beauty, give love and find peace.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-07-23
A faith-oriented autobiography with an unconventional approach."All we have is our stories," writes novelist Schaeffer (Crazy for God, 2008, etc.) in this entertaining, energetic new memoir. He follows through on this point by filling his book with story after story, all told with the clarity and catchy pacing of a born raconteur. There are tales of his wry, wisecracking mother; his wife, Genie; his grandchildren Lucy and Jack; and his friend, the artist Holly Meade, whose unexpected death, he writes, "broke through my innermost protective layer of denial." There are more complex reminiscences about his life as a professional writer; among his many books is the quite good 1992 novel Portofino. But the stories that cast the longest shadows are those about his straight-laced religious upbringing as the son of evangelical missionaries. At one point, he confesses, a bit ruefully, that "[m]yth or not, I sometimes like the result of my parents' delusions." Fairly early in life, he abandoned strictly conformist religious attitudes, and after "fleeing the evangelical machine," he embarked on a broader, more ecumenical inquiry into the nature of faith and spirituality, which fills much of this new book. Interwoven with his personal stories, he sketches an appealingly open-minded and even paradox-embracing approach to nonbelief: "An agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in God," he writes. "I'm not that person. I believe and don't believe at the same time." The book is often plagued by the unavoidable vagueness that accompanies such philosophizing, but Schaeffer's essential levelheadedness always asserts itself to prevent excessive spiritual navel-gazing: "If we wait for correct ideas to save us—theological or otherwise—we'll never be saved, even from ourselves," he writes in a typically winning passage.An intriguing, readable memoir aimed squarely at the post-faith modern era.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781928653998
Publisher:
Regina Orthodox Press
Publication date:
11/07/2014
Pages:
161
Sales rank:
631,475
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen fiction and nonfiction books. Frank is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, an acclaimed writer who overcame severe dyslexia, a home-schooled and self-taught documentary movie director, and a feature film director of four low-budget Hollywood features that Frank describes as "pretty terrible." He is also an artist with a loyal following of collectors who own many of his oil paintings. Frank's three semi-biographical novels (Portofino, Zermatt and Saving Grandma) describe growing up in a fundamentalist mission and have been translated into nine languages.
Follow Frank on Twitter www.twitter.com/frank_schaeffer
See Frank's paintings http://www.frankschaefferart.com/
Follow Frank on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/frank.schaeffer.16
Contact Frank at http://www.frankschaeffer.com/

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Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Grif-aka_Captain_Crunch More than 1 year ago
An honest look at life and the universe. Life is painful and glorious filled with love and horror so how do we deal with the question of God? This book is not so much an answer as an exploration. I HIGHLY recommend it if your faith has been challenged by events or if the presence of love and beauty leads you to question a sterile atheism. Having finished this book, I am going to start reading it again.
sdanielm More than 1 year ago
First a technical note: Much to my chagrin, I just bought this book as a Kindle download because it was not available as a Nook book. Please B&N, fix this! (if you can) ... now on to the review: There is a great desire to bring reconciliation between our transcendent sense, our appreciation for love and beauty, with the death of gods. We kick against the prick of existential angst. --That's my line! If you steal it at least give me credit :) Schaeffer isn't trying to work some magic here. He doesn't offer us a philosophical solution, or guide us on our search for meaning. When he says things like "evolution teaches" and "God says" are "more or less the same thing" I cringe. However, you can tell his heart and head are in the right place. He comes off in many ways as an educated, gentle postmodern person. He poses a few questions about how evolution could "explain" our love of art, but I don't think that he feels that these black boxes require a Creator to open. Rather than appealing to ignorance in claiming himself justified to hold on to hope in gods / afterlife, he admits that the only hell we have is the one we make. A lot of ink gets spilled delineating camps neatly along their theistic divide. Schaeffer invites us to partake in subtlety, to appreciate nuance. There aren't "just" angry New Atheists and angry Republican / Teabag Fundamentalists. There is a spectrum of belief as shaded as human feelings about sport, art and science. I appreciate that Schaeffer feels out this complexity, and that he admits he embraces paradoxes as a non-Christian (just as Christians must who accept many traditional doctrines). He quotes an interview between Gutting and Wettstein from the NYT, and this line sums up a lot of the book: "The theism-atheism-agnosticism trio presumes that the real question is whether God exists. I’m suggesting that the real question is otherwise and that I don’t see my outlook in terms of that trio (p.14)." When I was a "young" atheist, I would've barked hard laughter at such a response. Now a bit more mature and Zen -- as well as sympathetic towards postmodern tendencies -- I completely understand. The important thing is not finding an answer to the "question" of God's existence, but in finding a way to live your life that makes that answer irrelevant. S. Daniel Morgan -- https://www.goodreads.com/sirdanielm