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Crazy for God

| 4.1.09
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)
by Frank Schaeffer

If you grew up in the Christian fundamentalist/evangelical sub-culture the way I did, this book will really resonate with your own experience. At least it did for me.

Francis Schaeffer (father of the author) was a huge figure within Christian fundmentalism/Evangelicalism during the 1970s and 80s. His books are still lauded within that circle for putting an intellectual/philosophical face on biblical literalist views. Crazy for God is a tell-all book by his son outlining some of the hypocrisy and general craziness within the movement.

I read the book through two lenses. 1) Sons who aren't as successful as their fathers. 2) Former fundamentalists trying to make sense out of their upbringing and reaction to it. On both counts the book is successful, in my mind.

I couldn't put this one down. I can't remember the last time I read a book that is over 400 pages in just a few days. Frank Schaeffer writes clearly so the book is easy to read. He doesn't pull any punches, spilling all the juicy details about sex, drug use, spousal abuse, and insider conversations with leaders in the fundamentalist movement.

Others will disagree with me on this, but I think that at some level the author still respects his parents and his family, even if he has chosen a different path in his own life. I suppose some will see the book solely as a betrayal, but speaking as a former fundamentalist, one of the most difficult things in leaving that life is being able to honestly come clean about its secrets. So I tend to see the book in that light.

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1st Da Capo Press Pbk. Ed edition (September 29, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0306817500
ISBN-13: 978-0306817502

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