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Franky Schaeffer Derides Christianity as “Stupid”
Institute on Religion and Democracy ^ | 10/07/2011 | Kristin Rudolph

Posted on 10/07/2011 1:10:41 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Once a self-identified founding member of the American “religious right,” Franky Schaeffer now says that “religion is dumb” and “man made.” Although Schaeffer grew up among some of the most influential evangelicals of the twentieth century, and worked as one of them during much of his adult life, he now believes the Bible is a fraud and that Christianity teaches “misogynistic” practices.

Schaeffer, the son of the late evangelical theologian, philosopher, and founder of the L’Abri Fellowship, Francis Schaeffer, discussed his newest book at the Kansas City Public Library on September 27, 2011. His recent book, Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics--and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway tells the story of Schaeffer’s conservative Christian upbringing, and how his mother, Edith Schaeffer, is “a woman who’s better than her theology.” Her theology is that of the “religious right” that Schaeffer now hates and the book tells the story of how the religious right has supposedly ruined America, as politics have “been folded into ‘bring America back to God.’” More broadly, he said, the book’s message is to “not make generalizations about each other,” because there are many people just like his mother among evangelicals.

The problem, Schaeffer explained, is belief with certainty. “Certainty kills,” he explained,“no one ever bombed an abortion clinic or a mosque after yelling ‘but I could be wrong.’” That example he said, “sums up the difference of my philosophy now and where I would have been speaking 35 or 40 years ago to you about all my certainties of who the bad guys are and who the good guys” are. Now he believes, with seeming certainty, that the Bible is the “unauthorized [biography] about the deity” written by “bronze age schmucks who were finding ways to control their wives and daughters ... who in hindsight were trying to say ‘see? God made us do it so it’s ok.’”

“Life is not long enough to conclude anything, it’s only enough to try your best along the way,” Schaeffer said, and further, “if salvation is correct doctrine, then everyone is lost.” To those who hold religious beliefs he said, “believe me, you will someday reach a point where you know that was dumb.” Schaeffer said his life, “for better or worse, worse mainly, happens to intersect the rise of the the religious right in America, which also happens to have ruined the United States.” He believes a deity exists, and accepts some select moral teachings from Christianity but, “Jesus had to be separated in my mind from a political movement before I could even consider looking at the teaching again as anything but an appendage of a system that failed.”

Schaeffer presented his views as an alternative to the opposing views of “new atheists” such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, and orthodox Christians. “Secularism” is not the answer, he said, it “is not what it’s cracked up to be,” but also, “it’s not God’s fault that there’s dumb stuff in the Bible.” According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality. Not believing in the Christian God “doesn’t mean that a God that loves me … and created love and personality and relationships in a universe that otherwise would be dark and cold isn’t out there.”

For many years a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Schaeffer believes that “the God of the Bible [is] distinct from any deity that might be out there, he, she or it.” It is dogmatic belief in the Bible and the God of the Bible that, according to Schaeffer, has ultimately caused “the rise of the religious right and the decline of the country it has so impacted.” He claimed there is a “direct relationship between the religious right” and “what’s happening worldwide with our economy right now,” because “the people who are in Congress are ideologues” driven by “theologicized politics.” This is problematic because “when you put a theological twist on anything, the person who disagrees with you is therefore lost” and in disagreements, “you’re not mistaken about abortion or tax policy, you’re an agent of Satan.”

Schaeffer claimed he neither sides with the right or the left because he has “seen the same blood in your eye fundamentalist zeal in both camps.” In the end of his talk, he was at least somewhat consistent, and said “if you disagree with me, you’re not going to hell, you’re probably right!”


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: atheism; christianity; faithandphilosophy; francisschaeffer; frankschaeffer; frankyschaeffer; leftuniverse; nihilism
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1 posted on 10/07/2011 1:10:46 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

“Life is not long enough to conclude anything”

How did he come to that conclusion?


2 posted on 10/07/2011 1:14:27 PM PDT by rightwingcrazy
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To: SeekAndFind
He's pretty impressed with himself.

Schaeffer claimed he neither sides with the right or the left because he has “seen the same blood in your eye fundamentalist zeal in both camps.”

3 posted on 10/07/2011 1:15:05 PM PDT by DManA
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To: SeekAndFind
...free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality...

That is, in fact, the human condition. God gives us the grace to accept him or deny him or even to make a god in our own image. Good luck with that, Franky.

4 posted on 10/07/2011 1:15:16 PM PDT by newheart (When does policy become treason?)
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To: SeekAndFind
“Life is not long enough to conclude anything”

Hm...An interesting CONCLUSION.

5 posted on 10/07/2011 1:15:45 PM PDT by NakedRampage (Fortis cadere, cedere non potest (A brave man may fall, but he cannot yield))
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To: DManA
Schaeffer claimed he neither sides with the right or the left

Wanna bet?

6 posted on 10/07/2011 1:17:47 PM PDT by BRL
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To: SeekAndFind

Insanity has finally set in with Schaeffer.


7 posted on 10/07/2011 1:19:15 PM PDT by DarthVader (That which supports Barack Hussein Obama must be sterilized and there are NO exceptions!)
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To: rightwingcrazy

RE: “Life is not long enough to conclude anything”

How did he come to that conclusion?

_______________________________

I also hear the absolute statement: THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE TRUTH a lot in college.


8 posted on 10/07/2011 1:19:30 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

That apple sure fell far from the tree. What an idiot.


9 posted on 10/07/2011 1:21:31 PM PDT by HerrBlucher ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." G.K. Chesterton)
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To: SeekAndFind

Another fool willing to prostitute his soul for lucre.

Blah, blah, blah, buy my book...


10 posted on 10/07/2011 1:23:14 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: newheart

He’s taking his theology from Anthony Kennedy, of the “mystery of life.”


11 posted on 10/07/2011 1:25:10 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: SeekAndFind

> “Certainty kills,” he explained,“no one ever bombed an
> abortion clinic or a mosque after yelling ‘but I could be
> wrong.’”

Maybe it’s just me, but the only people bombing mosques are Mahometans, and the last abortion clinic bombing was almost a generation ago, and not done by a Christian, either.


12 posted on 10/07/2011 1:25:49 PM PDT by Westbrook
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To: SeekAndFind

The problem, Schaeffer explained, is belief with certainty. “Certainty kills,”

That may be the saddest statement I’ve ever seen.


13 posted on 10/07/2011 1:25:57 PM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: SeekAndFind

All athiests I meet fear Christianity like its some kind of Government secret mind-control trick. They real are quite paranoid about it, and it shows.


14 posted on 10/07/2011 1:26:25 PM PDT by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded my brains fell out)
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To: rightwingcrazy

“Life is not long enough to conclude anything”

How did he come to that conclusion?”

Interesting....I think I’d say, “life is too short to sit idly in uncertainty”


15 posted on 10/07/2011 1:27:50 PM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: American in Israel

,,, another guy that always wanted to be the smartest kid in the class, the one with all the answers ....


16 posted on 10/07/2011 1:28:03 PM PDT by Ken522
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To: DarthVader

Jesus: Franky Schaeffer is Stupid.


17 posted on 10/07/2011 1:28:18 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind

He has a problem with certainty? Note that he blames “certainty” for the bombing of abortion clinics. Note that he DOESN’T blame “certainty” for abortion. No one ever aborted a baby while yelling, “But I could be wrong.”

In short, he has a bigger problem with bombing an abortion clinic than he has with 53 million abortions.

It was obvious several years ago that he had ceased to be a pro-lifer. No Christian, other than an apostate Christian, can fail to be pro-life.


18 posted on 10/07/2011 1:28:42 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: SeekAndFind

This is by no means a ‘revelation’ of anything new. He has simply ‘discovered’ nihilism.


19 posted on 10/07/2011 1:30:58 PM PDT by 240B (he is doing everything he said he wouldn't and not doing what he said he would)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Certainty kills,” he explained,“no one ever bombed an abortion clinic or a mosque after yelling ‘but I could be wrong.’”

He’s right, you know. Atheists are never zealous or kill people./s


20 posted on 10/07/2011 1:31:54 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: Arthur McGowan

My daughter, who was a Sophomore at UMASS Amherst at the time, explained this to me last Thanksgiving. “Stupid” is the Left’s code word for Christians. e.g. Sarah Palin is “stupid”.


21 posted on 10/07/2011 1:32:09 PM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: rightwingcrazy

“How did he come to that conclusion?”

LOL


22 posted on 10/07/2011 1:32:31 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: SeekAndFind

Am I supposed to know who this fool is?


23 posted on 10/07/2011 1:33:27 PM PDT by pgkdan (Perry 2012!)
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To: Tublecane
“How did he come to that conclusion?”

LOL


His father was a Calvinist?
24 posted on 10/07/2011 1:33:51 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: ConservativeDude

“life is too short to sit idly in uncertainty”

I share that philosophy. All our days are filled with moral choices. Pretending otherwise is one of them.


25 posted on 10/07/2011 1:33:51 PM PDT by rightwingcrazy
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To: 240B
This is by no means a ‘revelation’ of anything new. He has simply ‘discovered’ nihilism.

So, is there any hope left for Franky? How far does grace reach?

26 posted on 10/07/2011 1:35:23 PM PDT by attyatlaw001
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To: SeekAndFind

“I also hear the absolute statement: THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE TRUTH a lot in college.”

People say that sort of thing without realizing it all the time. One of my favorites is when they say, “You can’t prove a negative.” Well, that’s a negative, you idiot, which you might have noticed by the word “can’t.”


27 posted on 10/07/2011 1:35:44 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: Arthur McGowan; Mrs. Don-o

Actually, I find Franky’s plunge into the abyss to be heart breaking. Pray for him.

I cannot recall such a frightening apostacy in my life. If it could happen to him, it could happen to me.


28 posted on 10/07/2011 1:36:01 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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29 posted on 10/07/2011 1:37:24 PM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: PGR88
All athiests I meet fear Christianity like its some kind of Government secret mind-control trick. They real are quite paranoid about it, and it shows.

I see this a lot, too. I wonder why so many are like that. I used to be an atheist, but I never had a problem with people being Christians. I even thought it a good way to bring up one's kids, even though I did not believe it at the time.

I was on several Blu-ray message boards when the subject of the new Blu-ray release of Ben-Hur came up. Amazing how many posters had to declare that even though they liked the movie they were "not in the least religious", or that they thought "religion has done more harm than good...blah...blah"

30 posted on 10/07/2011 1:40:12 PM PDT by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: SeekAndFind

In the end of his talk, he was at least somewhat consistent, and said “if you disagree with me, you’re not going to hell, you’re probably right!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That’s being consistent? This guy is as mixed up as they come.


31 posted on 10/07/2011 1:41:18 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS! This means liberals AND libertarians (same thing) NO LIBS!)
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To: rightwingcrazy
Lol!

/Schaeffer's intellectual prowess.

His next trick, "There are no absolutes."
32 posted on 10/07/2011 1:46:41 PM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
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To: SeekAndFind
My first class in college I made the mistake of answering the Professor, “Are you absolutely sure”?
33 posted on 10/07/2011 1:50:28 PM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
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To: aruanan
It just goes to show that there are no second generation Christians. FWIW, he converted from Reformed to Orthodox Christianity (Eastern Orthodox) in 1991, but he appears to have left that communion as well, in fact if not in form.

Not all evangelical leaders have had the fortune of Billy Graham in having believing progeny. Andrew Himes, the grandson of John Rice, a fundamentalist Baptist leader, became a Communist organizer in Alabama (admittedly a tough job!). The Satanist Aleister Crowley was the son of a devout Plymouth Brethren family. Stalin studied for the Orthodox priesthood. Marx was the son of a family that converted to Lutheranism; he was a devout Christian in his early teen years.

34 posted on 10/07/2011 1:53:03 PM PDT by Wallace T. (Shoot, shovel, and shut up)
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To: pgkdan

RE: Am I supposed to know who this fool is?

Do you know the late, great Francis August Schaeffer? This fool is his wayward son, who used to believe what his father did.


35 posted on 10/07/2011 1:54:26 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind
“Life is not long enough to conclude anything, it’s only enough to try your best along the way,” Schaeffer said, and further, “if salvation is correct doctrine, then everyone is lost.” To those who hold religious beliefs he said, “believe me, you will someday reach a point where you know that was dumb.” Schaeffer said his life, “for better or worse, worse mainly, happens to intersect the rise of the the religious right in America, which also happens to have ruined the United States.” He believes a deity exists, and accepts some select moral teachings from Christianity but, “Jesus had to be separated in my mind from a political movement before I could even consider looking at the teaching again as anything but an appendage of a system that failed.” Schaeffer presented his views as an alternative to the opposing views of “new atheists” such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, and orthodox Christians. “Secularism” is not the answer, he said, it “is not what it’s cracked up to be,” but also, “it’s not God’s fault that there’s dumb stuff in the Bible.” According to Schaeffer, we are not “stuck with the stupidity of Christianity,” but are free to create our own conception of God, reality, and morality. Not believing in the Christian God “doesn’t mean that a God that loves me … and created love and personality and relationships in a universe that otherwise would be dark and cold isn’t out there.”

Ping for later.

36 posted on 10/07/2011 1:58:13 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: attyatlaw001
Before the cock crows, you will deny me thrice.

The guy is selling this book while setting up his next book. You know, the one where he has another revelation and finds his way back into Christianity as born again.

People have always used religion to make money. He is just doing his little shtick here. I do not take him seriously.

37 posted on 10/07/2011 2:01:29 PM PDT by 240B (he is doing everything he said he wouldn't and not doing what he said he would)
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To: SeekAndFind
” It is dogmatic belief in the Bible and the God of the Bible that, according to Schaeffer, has ultimately caused “the rise of the religious right and the decline of the country it has so impacted.”

This is so patently the opposite of what is happening even now, that the only possible conclusion is that the subject is stupid, delusional or evil.

38 posted on 10/07/2011 2:04:45 PM PDT by TalBlack ( Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Does he receive money from his father’s estate???

I wonder.


39 posted on 10/07/2011 2:08:00 PM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Oh, Boy . . .
Here we go.
40 posted on 10/07/2011 2:12:41 PM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: 240B

Well, maybe there’s hope for little Frankie because his Dad came to the same opinion and he decided to start from scratch and find out if God was real. He wrote some of the best books and lead many intellectuals to the Lord. One of my favorites is “He Is There and He is Not Silent”. Feel sad for him because he just sounds angry. Saw Francis Schaeffer at the airport once and he was about 5ft tall and in his Swiss knickers. Quite a sight. Great man!


41 posted on 10/07/2011 2:14:51 PM PDT by NativeTxn
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To: rightwingcrazy

Lol


42 posted on 10/07/2011 2:17:50 PM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: SeekAndFind

He goes from fundamentalist, to strict Eastern Orthodox, to secularist. Sad.


43 posted on 10/07/2011 2:23:00 PM PDT by rzman21
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To: DManA

If a police officer talks to 8 witnesses at a crime scene and finds that each has a different version of what happened, he can’t throw up his hands and state that the truth is unknowable.

So it is with life - sometimes you have to dig a little deeper...


44 posted on 10/07/2011 2:24:02 PM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: SeekAndFind

“THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE TRUTH”

...Are you absolutely sure?

Give them that reply next time someone says that to you.


45 posted on 10/07/2011 2:26:05 PM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: rightwingcrazy

How did he come to that conclusion? Enforced amorality and atheism for a man who wants to fit into the mainstream.


46 posted on 10/07/2011 2:27:01 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: SeekAndFind
Like many of my generation, Francis Schaeffer was an icon whose books were immensely influential. My guess is that his son Franky was turned off by the hypocrisy he saw while living a storied life as the son of an Evangelical celebrity. Things are often quite different behind closed doors, and with the parade of prominent Christians making their pilgrimage to L'abri, he probably saw quite a bit of surprising - and discouraging - behavior. I understand some of that "juicy gossip" about prominent Christians is in his book.

However, each of us make our own decisions, and there are many who manage to hold to their faith despite the failings of those around them. It appears that Franky chose the route of bitterness and rejection instead of forgiving those who disappointed him, and crying out to God to help him live a more authentic and faithful Christian life.

I remember long ago talking with a man who rejected his religious faith and wrote what he said was a devastating refutation of Christianity and the Bible. However, he did not have the heart to have it published, explaining that he did not want to have a hand in destroying the faith of others. I hope that God had mercy on that man's soul.

The Apostle Paul warns: "not not let many be teachers, for they will have a double judgment." By writing what is apparently a polemical book against Christianity, I fear that Franky Schaeffer has placed himself in grave spiritual danger.

47 posted on 10/07/2011 2:27:44 PM PDT by tjd1454
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To: rightwingcrazy
Too bad the press isn't interested in rewarding the kids of democrats who turn against their parents. We know they exist, we know they'll NEVER get a podium to stand behind.

Wasn't this a Ron Reagan thing - trash the parent as a way to 'make it'... Kind of a way for the talentless children of conservatives to get attention. Seems there are others - anyone with a list?

48 posted on 10/07/2011 2:31:32 PM PDT by GOPJ (Where is the headline that says: Obama Murders Hundreds of Mexicans! - freeper xzins)
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To: tjd1454
My guess is that his son Franky was turned off by the hypocrisy he saw while living a storied life as the son of an Evangelical celebrity.

Franky Schaeffer didn't start having problems until about three or four years after his father's death.

His then-dream (decades before Sherwood Films came along) was to produce and direct big-budget films that didn't compromise the Christian message, nor compromise on filmmaking quality. His first film was called Wired To Kill. It was a huge commercial and financial disaster. Franky didn't allow his financial backers (mostly evangelicals) to see the script before he took their money.

Franky's crisis of faith coincided with the fallout over his terrible films. IMO it was no coincidence. Franky's been harboring a grudge against his family and evangelicalism ever since.

49 posted on 10/07/2011 3:00:06 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: SeekAndFind
The problem, Schaeffer explained, is belief with certainty. “Certainty kills,” he explained,“no one ever bombed an abortion clinic or a mosque after yelling ‘but I could be wrong.’”

Schaeffer is certain he is correct.

50 posted on 10/07/2011 3:15:16 PM PDT by Recovering_Democrat
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