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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 Paperback – 30 Sep 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1st Da Capo Press Pbk. Ed edition (30 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306817500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306817502
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.6 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

American Author's Association website, December 2008 "A story that needed to be told...A very personal and brutally honest memoir, that opens up and exposes the underbelly of the evangelistic movement...Gives the reader a rare and different look at some of various leaders of the fundamentalist moment...The book may open some eyes and minds about the dangers of politics and religion...A must read book for serious seekers looking for their own authentic path to enlightenment, or at least some inner peace." De-conversion.com, 12/2/08 "A must read for the de-converting...It is brutally honest, eye-opening, at times laugh out loud funny, and heart breaking." Princeton Packet, 2/13/09 "Mr. Schaeffer knows what he's talking about. He was there, and his book lays it all out, chapter and verse." TCM Reviews "[A] moving memoir...For those interested in a different perspective on Francis and Edith Schaeffer, l'Abri, and the fundamentalist right-wing evangelical movement, as well as the touching story of someone deeply involved in it all, this is a must-read." Augusta Metro Spirit, 4/15/09 "In a witty recollection that takes a different path from the average evangelical story, Frank Schaeffer offers an intimate portrait of a life within and without the spotlight of mass congregations...Schaeffer is more than qualified to offer candid commentary concerning the religious right in these United States...Written with an intricate collection of detail, a smooth ability to turn elements of conflict into startling moments of realization, and a wonderful search for meaning." Tallahassee Democrat, 7/25/09 "Part memoir, part biography, and part expose of a fundamentalist moment in U.S. religion and culture. As memoir it is at times funny, at times moving. As biography it provides an interesting, not to say intimate, perspective on Francis and Edith Schaeffer. As expose it provides revealing glimpses into the emergence of the religious right and some of its most visible leaders." Evangelical Studies Bulletin, Spring 2008 "[A] breezy new autobiographical book...The inner story of young Frank(y)'s childhood, adolescence, meteoric phase as up-and-coming evangelical political activist, and subsequent career keep the pages turning...[An] entertaining and provocative read." Semi-Autonomous Collective blog, 12/27/09 "Aggravating at times, frustrating by moments, but overall terribly touching, Schaeffer isn't hiding any flaws from the picture he paints of his own family. If there is one book to understand where the religious right comes from, it's that one." Springfield News-Leader, 8/22/12 "Excellent resources for anyone interested in the strange history of the heretical anti-abortion doctrine being taught in American churches today for the purpose of garnering political support."

About the Author

Frank Schaeffer is a bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction, and also a documentary and feature film director. Frank and his wife, Genie, live in Massachusetts and have three children.

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Spicer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written as almost a confessional by the son of Francis Schaeffer, this details how he grew and his subsequent disillusionment with the evangelical scene. To an extent he throws the baby out with the bathwater; but this is a personal voyage, not a manifesto so he's entitled to. It's one of those books that I think a lot of evangelicals - especially in the UK where we don't on the whole have the same excesses as the US should take the time out to read. Bold, blunt and honest it lays bare the traps and the thinking that could get us to that situation. My first thought after reading this was that I wanted to give it to several people I know to read, simply because it says things that we don't often want to say and they deserve debate. On reflection I'll recommend it both here and when I'm talking to people. Perhaps unlike the US target audience, the C of E is a little more aware of the irony.
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Format: Paperback
If I had to sum up this book in on e word, it is "honesty". The author lives up to his name and gives a frank account of his childhood and adolescent years in what could be seen as a chaotic environment. Through other eyes Frank Schaeffer's childhood could have been seen as idyllic, he lived in a place of serene beauty, had a lot of freedom, he was not pressurized into academic success, and had a wider spiritual family to relate to and learn from while growing up.

At heart this story is an account of how Frank sought and gained his own spiritual identity through overcoming adversity, coming to know his parents' faith, then later encountering in the religious right in the USA, and finding that they had turned evangelical Christianity into something ugly and unattractive to him in his spiritual journey. Frank came through his own experiences to perceive leaders such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson as more focused on their own power and political influence than on a true humble walk with God in gratitude for the many gifts he has given us. His description of his own flaws, his own family life, as well as his parents' lives together gives hope to those of us who face challenges as parents and partners.

It takes great self-confidence to be a rebel, and combined with the honesty in every page of this book, it was for me an enthralling read. My feelings were of God's patience with us, as he gently leads us as we make mistakes and learn for ourselves his true grace and acceptance. We may not have had perfect childhoods or perfect relationships, but God still meets us where we are and seeks the best for his children. Frank has profound talents and found the love of his life in Genie, as well as his niche as a writer, orator and story-teller.
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Format: Paperback
I had never heard of Frank Schaeffer before I heard a podcast interview he gave for the Point of Inquiry show. In it he talked about his part in the rise of the American religious right and how he believed that the Republican party had been completely overwhelmed by religious fundamentalists. I bought the book expecting to hear more about this. The book, however covers more about his upbringing, little anecdotes about his teenage years, his parents various philosophies etc. Not being an American or a Christian, I suppose some of the context was lost on me. I gave the book four stars because, although it was not really what I had expected, it was written in a very honest and engaging style, and gives a different perspective on the religious 'culture wars' that seem to be playing out in the English speaking world today.
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A fabulous must read book for anyone who has felt both the positive and negative impacts of growing up exposed to the fundamentalist religious beliefs of one's parents. As such it's a book for our times - the assault upon dogma is refreshing, the honesty at times uncomfortable. Above all the reader is treated to a narrative that feels authentic to those who grew up in a similar culture whilst being a sober reminder to those who often in all sincerity believe that religiously inspired political movements lead to a healthier society. You probably won't agree with all that's written and if your experience was not the same as the author's then you may well find some of his experiences bewildering at best. However the book will certainly make you think and I'd be surprised if you don't learn something!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith on 1 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Schaeffer's biography is painfully honest, both about his personal life and his involvement with America's religious right movement in the 70s and 80s. Most of the book concerns his youth, his generous but driven parents, and his own journey as an artist. The political right-wing movement forms a relatively minor portion of his life. Through it all, Schaeffer faces his own failings and delusions unflinchingly -- sometimes it is hilarious. And he opens up to real gratitude for all the people who showed him compassion.

At one point Schaeffer says "Honesty is the only thing that is satisfying about writing". And he proceeds with such disarming honesty as to give a clear window, not only on a soul, but on an era of American history.

--author of Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing the Story
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