Frank Schaeffer & an Orthodox Discussion About Abortion Print
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 06 February 2009 19:00
Father Gregory over at Koinonia has an interesting public letter to Frank Schaeffer.

Evangelicals will recognize the name "Schaeffer" since Frank is the very controversial son of the late Francis Schaeffer, the founder of L'Abri, the famous Christian community in the Swiss Alps, who had a huge impact on the evangelical world in the 60's and 70's.

Here's a clip from the file series that Frank made with his father in the 70's. It's a section on Thomas Aquinas which is painfully shallow and misconceived but had a big influence on an evangelical world which had barely heard of St. Thomas. Francis Schaeffer was a remarkable evangelist and catalytic figure but lacked the sort of education that would have enable him to better understand Thomas and his thought.

Frank, who is Francis Schaeffer's youngest child, has always been an very angry figure.

He was the his father's closet collaborator in the late 70's when the his parents led the charge to make evangelicals aware of the issues involved in the fight against abortion. Then Frank became Orthodox - very pugnaciously so - and wrote a series of funny, thinly veiled novels about his experience of growing up in an evangelical mecca. His most recent tell-all book about his family - Crazy for God - is not veiled at all and has been publicly rebutted by close friends of his family.

I had hopes that leaving the evangelical world where his family were royalty for the large and ancient world of Orthodoxy where he wasn't known would mellow Frank and enable him to achieve some peace and serenity but it hasn't happened. Schaeffer quickly became a trophy convert and a very public apologist and popular speaker about Orthodoxy while repudiating his family's evangelical roots in a particularly ungracious way. Schaeffer's recent language about Orthodoxy and Christianity as a whole, has grown increasingly vague and it is hard to tell where he is in his journey with God right now.

On November 12 2008, Frank published a Public Letter to President-Elect Obama on Abortion: From a Pro-Obama and Pro-Life Leader, in which he argues for the reduction of abortion while keeping it legal.

Fr. Gregory responds. Here's a snippet:

"What I find more is disturbing than intellectual poverty of your moral analysis is your cynical willingness call yourself pro-life while expressing a willingness to sacrifice the lives of the unborn for the sake of national harmony and an end to the culture wars. You contend that, if your advice is followed, the President "will have taken a giant step towards bringing this country together." Whether this is true or not, I cannot say. What I can say is that the willingness to sacrifice innocent lives for the sake of national unity is not the words of someone I can reasonably call pro-life. Your position is morally unacceptable both in light of natural law and the biblical tradition that informs the pro-life opposition to legal abortion."

It is encouraging to witness this discussion within the Orthodox world.