Browsing Archives for February 2012

I used the random number generator to pick a number from among the thirty comments. Comment number 16 was the winner and that person is Leslie!

Leslie, if you could please send your mailing address to mysistersfarmhouse@live.com, I will send you an autographed copy of Crazy for God. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks to everyone who entered!

My Newest Hero

February 6th, 2012

Thanks Linda for your passionate and honest message.

I will pick a winner for the Frank Schaeffer book tonite.

Frank Schaeffer Book Giveaway!

February 1st, 2012

Last Thursday I drove to Omaha, Nebraska to hear Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God and lots of other really great books dealing with the crazier end of the Christianity spectrum, speak.  He did not disappoint.  You can hear his talk at this link.  If you start at about eleven minutes you can skip the introductions, although the minister of the church where Frank talked does give a brief, but interesting account of his own visit to L’Abri, the famed Swiss mission where Frank grew up in the first few minutes.

Frank spent the first half of his talk re-stating much of the material he covers in his book.  It wasn’t until about half way through that he began to venture into territory that was new to me – that being his own faith, what exactly he believes and how he maintains it.  The title of his talk was…

THE CASE FOR SPIRITUALITY
IN THE AGE OF DOUBT:
How Both Atheism and Christian Fundamentalism
Miss the Mark on Faith

but he did not really cover this topic.  His comments on fundamentalism centered on his personal experiences as both a child of missionary parents and as a leader of the religious right.  His opinion of virtually every well-known evangelical pastor that he knew during his time as a rising star among evangelical ministers is piss poor.  He uniformly regards them as power hungry, money grubbing warts on the world.  For his inside stories on James Dobson, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, read his book Crazy For God (which I am giving away today.)  In general he seemed to regard most fundies as sort of addle brained people who just don’t have the capacity to reason things out very well.  He also was careful to mention that many fundamentalists are good people in spite of their terrible belief system.  In regards to atheists, Frank spoke of a few e-mail conversations he had with the late Christopher Hitchens wherein Hitch berated him for continuing in his beliefs in spite of his first hand knowledge of the vagaries of Christianity.  Frank referred to Hitchens in a warm manner stating that the brusqueness of his e-mails were what was to be expected from Hitchens and later went on to say that he felt that atheists could be moral and good people without the parameters of religion governing their life.

My favorite moment of the evening came during the question and answer time when a pinch faced lady in the congregation demanded that Frank explain how his orthodox priest (Frank attends the Greek Orthodox church) could give him communion.  Excerpt follows…

Pinch Faced Fundy – I am not sure why your priest would give you communion when you don’t even hold the faith that Christ is risen.  Orthodoxy means right belief!

Frank – Sure.  But one of the basic tenants of orthodox belief is that the only person’s salvation you worry about is your own.  And I didn’t say I didn’t believe Christ is risen, I said I don’t know.  Nor did Thomas.  Nor do you.

He then went on to talk about astrophysics and whether or not the chair the lady was sitting on really existed and I sort of tuned that out because astro-what?  But he continued to skewer her for the next few minutes and I have to say that I immensely enjoyed it.  If you want to listen to the skewering yourself it starts around 1:24 in the video.

During the Q and A, I asked Frank if the film Portofino was ever going to be released.  He said that it didn’t actually ever get made.  The German financiers pulled out of the project before filming began.  Later I asked him a few more questions while he signed the mountain of books that I had brought with me.  I asked him if he was ever going to return to the Calvin Becker stories who is the protaganist in my favorite Schaeffer books Portofino, Saving Grandma and Zermatt.  He said that he did plan to write more Calvin Becker books and very soon too (yay!).  Next I asked him how much of the Becker books were true stories from his life.  Frank shrugged and said none of them.  He admitted that all of the things that happened in the book are connected to things that happened in real life, but insisted that the Becker family characters are fictional.  I then asked him if the Elsa Becker character was anything like his mom, specifically referring to the unrequited love affair in the book Portofino and the actual unrequited love affair that Edith Schaeffer had for the rich Californian whom Frank talks of in his book Sex Mom and God. Edith’s relationship with the rich Californian was mutual and even resulted in a marriage proposal which Edith Schaeffer declined in spite of being married to an abusive evangelist (Francis Schaeffer) at the time.  Frank nodded his head saying that the events were connected, but that the specific incident that happens to Elsa Becker while vacationing in Italy did not happen to his mother.

And then Frank signed my books and I brought one home for a giveaway!  If you would like an autographed copy of Crazy for God, leave a comment.  If you don’t know what to say in your comment, might I suggest an answer to the question – What is Frank thinking???  For if you look at the photo at the top of this post of Frank and I standing together, Frank certainly appears to be thinking something.  Maybe he is worried about the deranged woman standing next to him who has been peppering him with questions about his books.  Maybe he is wondering if she is a dangerous stalker.  Maybe he is worried that she is going to kidnap him and take him to a creepy farmhouse in the middle of Nebraska where she will torture him until he writes a new Calvin Becker book.  Feel free to contemplate his thoughts in the comment section.  I am very interested in your theories!  And may the best booky win!