Review: Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God by Frank Schaeffer


Between two worlds life hovers like a star, twixt night and morn, upon the horizon’s verge.  –Lord Byron
Have you ever felt like that? Like you were hovering between one truth and the next? Like when you know you are dreaming and yet somehow feel as though there is certain realness nonetheless? Perhaps it is not unlike the strange freedom I fell in not knowing the answers or even the questions and yet embracing Jesus as real and true and mine.

If we are honest with ourselves I think that we must admit that we have at least a modicum of uncertainty about all that we believe even if it is uncomfortable. In this new book, Frank once again invites us to embrace our doubts and admit that we are at once certain and uncertain. To quote Voltaire, “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

If you are at a point in your life where you have already embraced this realty or are at least standing on the precipice ready to leap, then Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God is for you. In this beautifully written and hauntingly honest small volume, Frank Schaeffer once again reveals to us his heart. Not a cleaned up tissue paper cutout trimmed in lace, but his own bloody, beating heart that he has ripped out with his own hands and laid bare. At no point will you ever feel like Frank is trying to hide any part of his story. And though it is bloody, this work is also pulsing with life; Heartbreaking, breath giving, earth-shaking, faith giving, liberating life.

For me, this quote from the second chapter of Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God offers the best summary:

With the acceptance of paradox came a new and blessed uncertainty that began to heal the mental illness called certainty, the kind of certainty that told me that my job was to be head of the home and to order around my wife and children because “the Bible says so.” Embracing paradox helped me discover that religion is a neurological disorder for which faith is the only cure.



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