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Archive for the ‘Franky Schaeffer’ Category

frank schaeffer

I have written on Franky Schaeffer in our blog before where we looked at the irrational things he has said in public.  He’s the son of the late Christian apologist and evangelist Francis Schaeffer.  Franky himself is an apostate has spent much time and energy attacking his father and the Evangelical faith of his father.

I just found out that his latest book is titled “WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD.”  Most people would think, “Is that logically possible?”  Frank in a video recorded book discussion have said that he intentionally had a provocative title to make people think and:

Basically telling people that first of all labels are Nonsense.

He’s not the only one that says something like this.  I had flashback of hipster Emergents, old College hippie professors, etc., when I heard Franky say that.

What are Franks’ reasons for why he thinks labels are nonsense?  He’s explained:

“Because you may describe yourself one thing today but give it twenty years and you may well look at yourself as something else.  And we all change in our journey.”

And in his dribbling monologue he’s also talked about the need to embrace paradox rather than resolve everything.

I want to address this issue since it’s bigger than him and many people throw this or something similar out there during religious discussions.

1.) Whenever I hear someone say labels are categorically nonsense I always want to show them a picture of this:

food-labels

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Seriously, labels are nonsense?

2.) Secondly, Frank’s first reason for why labels are nonsense does not logically follow.  Just because people do change over time this does not necessarily mean labels are in of itself nonsense.  Sure, people twenty years from now may change in their views of themselves and what they believe but that doesn’t mean labels are in of itself are nonsense.  It just means one might change “labels” even if that label is something different than the previous label or those labels are different from the larger segment of the population.  Go change labels a hundred times that still doesn’t mean labels are nonsense!

3.)  Frank’s second reason for why labels are nonsense is equally problematic.  Just because there are paradoxes in life that one must embrace surely does not logically follow that labels are nonsense and ought to be categorically rejected. What about two paradoxical labels?  Should we embrace them (give his call to embrace paradox)?  Or should we reject them because they are labels?  We have here a rational/irrational tension.  Note here that Frank’s second reason is talking about a different subject (paradox) and not the issue at hand of why labels are nonsense.  A categorical fallacy.

4.) Paradoxes won’t exists if two or more objects are at minimum in a contrary tension (I don’t think paradoxes must necessarily be in actual contradictory relationship).  People often use shorthand terms to denote things, and when we identify paradoxes we are saying two or more things share a tension in their relationships.  Notice denoting things is an act of “labelling.”  Thus to talk about paradox one are already engage in the act of giving labels.

4.) As an example of point four, look at his own author-talk where Frank does the same thing.  His talk goes on about the problem of the label love and hate and yet he talks about “hating less” is an act of “love.”  Even for an anti-label guy like Frank, he’s incurably using labels.

5.) Someone might object that Frank does not refer to “labels” as the act of denoting, naming, defining something but rather sterotyping something.  But that does not seem to be case because as one seen in the quote above, Frank talks about how the labels we give ourselves changes.  I don’t think Frank is saying we are sterotyping ourselves ignorantly.  His talk in the beginning makes it pretty clear he does not like “Certainty Addicts” who wants him to define things.  Frank is against the very act of defining things.

6.) Concerning “labeling” as sterotyping people, isn’t ironic that Frank’s writing always engage in labeling others in that sense of the term?  Within that Huffington Post I linked, note how he labels pro-science advocates and fundamentalists: “Somewhere between the sterile, absolute, and empty formulas of reductionist, totalitarian science and the earnest, hostile, excessively certain make-believe of religious fundamentalism, there is a beautiful place.”

7.) By the way, rejecting a bad and negative label does not mean one should reject labeling in the first sense of the term.

8.) Per point five, since Frank is against the act of labeling in the sense of defining things, he’s destroyed in his own worldview the ability to communicate since words must mean something and not mean its opposite, etc.  But he doesn’t really believe that inside even though he claims it because he’s still communicating with words the words that undermine the intelligibility and meaningfulness of those words.  Franks’ father had a mentor who would have noted the folly and suppression of the truth in Frank’s apostate antinominian atheist worldview.

Frank’s rejection of labels is nonsense.

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Gary DeMar of American Vision has this video up on Youtube concerning Frank Schaeffer

On this blog I have posted in the past concerning Frank Schaeffer, including useful links and my writing concerning the reasoning behind his angry rhetoric here and here

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OPENING NOTE: I do not condone violence against abortion doctors. I say this and put this in the beginning to avoid tangent hecklers who don’t read clearly and assume things not there.

Frank Schaeffar, the son of the famed Francis Schaeffar, has written a piece attacking once again his father’s legacy and taking a swipe against Conservative Christians in general.

There is something morbid and stale of an aging man who resorts his claim to fame by constantly attacking his own father’s legacy and promoting his autobiographical memoir. Sometime in your life, you got to be your own man, and not be famous for just talking bad about daddy.

This time, he takes the oppourtunity from the murder of Tiller to drum against his father and Christian conservatives over at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/how-i-and-other-pro-life_b_209747.html

The piece is titled, “How I (and other “Pro-life” leaders) Contributed to Dr. Tiller’s Murder”

It is sad that with a title about “How I contributed to Dr. Tiller’s Murder”, even when he say he contributed to Tiller’s murder, he does not miss the oppourtunity to drag his dad’s legacy down into the discussion, with his opening sentence:

My late father and I share the blame (with many others) for the murder of Dr. George Tiller the abortion doctor gunned down on Sunday.

Franky loves to tout that he has left the conservative moment,

Until I got out of the religious right (in the mid-1980s) and repented of my former hate-filled rhetoric I was both a leader of the so-called pro-life movement and a part of a Republican Party hate machine masquerading as the moral conscience of America.

But sometimes he gives himself too much credit.  He asserts that he was a leader of the Republican Party machine, but what important post or gate-keeping position did he ever hold within the party? Anyone familar with the genesis of the Christian right realizes that around the highest point where Frank was most well known among Evangelicals, the Republican Party has not welcomed the Christian Conservatives into their midst yet, and when Christian Conservatives were beginning to gain grounds into the party during the mid-80s, Frank has admitted above that he was already “out” and repenting from his former ways.  Dr. Cohen, formerly of UCLA political Science Department who have concentrated his expertise on the Christian right, description of the first and second wave of the Christian Right doesn’t even register Frank’s name up.  Even among those who knew of the name Frank Jr. during those years, knew Frank because he was  tied in with his dad, as the son who produce the documentary for his father.  All this to say, he’s not the leader as he like to portray himself to be.  He was being a sexual busybody outside of his filming project, as his Crazy for God book admits.

Frank believes in his own culpability for Tiller’s death,

He compared America and its legalized abortion to Hitler’s Germany and said that whatever tactics would have been morally justified in removing Hitler would be justified in trying to stop abortion. I said the same thing in a book I wrote (A Time For Anger) that right wing evangelicals made into a best seller

But admits that he would have been shocked if people took up his word,

Like many writers of moral/political/religious theories my father and I would have been shocked that someone took us at our word, walked into a Lutheran Church and pulled the trigger on an abortionist.

Fundamentally disturbing in Frank Jr.’s reasoning is the slippery slope logical fallacy that he tends to commit in this piece and others.  For instance, he states:

When evangelicals on the right call President Obama a socialist, a racist, anti-American, an abortionist, not a real American, and, echoing the former Vice President, someone who is weakening America’s defenses and making us less safe, the logical conclusion is violence.

He believes that “the logical conclusion” of the concern of Conservatives on Obama will lead to violence, but logically this argument is invalid.  The logical conclusion is not necessarily violence, but political participation (voting in the re-election, gathering to express your views on his policy, freedom of speech, calling your congressman, writing, etc).  Furthermore, just because  violence might occur by some fringe who chooses not to engage in peaceful lawful process, doesn’t mean that one cannot express their concern of someone being a “socialist”, a “racist”, “abortionists”, weakening America, etc.  If there was a Racist republican president, why not call him out for what he is?  Or a politician who is a socialist (or liberterian)? Or observing that a president’s policy is pro-abortion rather than prolife?

But what about the current rhetoric that Frank Junior now use to demonize the Christian right, throughout his writing?  Does he believe that the “logical conclusion” of his speech will result in violence?

It’s also sad reading this article to see Frank has also embrace the legalization of abortion:

As I say in my book today I believe that abortion should be legal but more regulated than Roe allows.

But ultimately, the most disturbing words by Frank is the conclusion of his essay,

The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as “murderers.” And today once again the “pro-life” leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words. The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I’d like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for preforming abortions that I — and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words.

I am very sorry.

He asserts that pro-life leaders are busy ducking away from personal responsibility for people acting on their words, and he doesn’t like how they never take responsibility.  He himself by his own admission stated that his words called for tactics that would justify ending abortion.  If he really does see he was responsible being the “leader” of the prolife movement who was so powerful that in this essay he wrote that he “personally also got people like Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan and countless Republican leaders involved in the ‘issue'”, I like to see someone take Frankie Junior to the task in the court and sue Frank Jr for “his responsibility”, using his own words, to reveal how dangerous and sloppy his current rhetoric is.

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Not everyone is aware that Francis Schaeffer has been influenced by Rushdoony.

Francis Schaeffer’s son, Franky, have recently stated in an interview that his father thought Rushdoony was crazy.

Chalcedon Ministries have responded in the link below with how some of the things he stated just does not add up:

http://www.chalcedon.edu/blog/2008/01/did-francis-schaeffer-believe-rushdoony.php

You might not like Theonomy, but there should be a level of Grace that ought to be practice, and not making things up.

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