From Publishers Weekly
Author Schaeffer (Keeping Faith
) adopts a feisty tone in this essay about evangelical Christianity and aggressive atheism. In the first half of the book, he rebuts justifications from both sides, taking aim at the ideas of such celebrity atheists as Richard Dawkins as well as religious leaders like Rick Warren. Schaeffer asks each side to allow for an evolving religion in which allegory takes precedence over literalism. In the first half of the book, the author quotes lengthy passages from atheist writings, leaving little room for his own optimistic ideas. In the second half, he gives space for his own memories, recalling moments that led him to a middle path of hopeful uncertainty. Growing up in a well-known evangelical family, then leaving it behind for secular Hollywood, Schaeffer learned to see the world as aesthetic and contemplative rather than scientific. By embracing mystery and love, he suggests the two movements can exist side-by-side: It is possible to buck the trend of cynicism and to believe in each other more than in the rightness of our particular ideas. (Nov.)
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Former evangelical Christian political agitator Schaeffer has been born yet again. This time, he has been reborn into what he calls the Church of Hopeful Uncertainty, as defined by his belief that the vast majority of people inhabit a middle ground between the two fundamentalist extremes battling one another for followers in the world today. He suffers no one who advocates a devotion so rigid as to exclude any but the staunchest. He names names but is an equal-opportunity assailant, laying into fundamentalist atheists and religious zealots alike, decrying both for inflexibility and the blatant commercialism of their enterprises. Make no mistake, Schaeffer is not proselytizing. He knows, or at least hopes, that with this book he is singing to the choir of millions fed up with or unable to commit to full-blown atheism or stiff-necked religion of any kind. His belief that faith, in God or not, ought to support and enrich one’s life, not run it into the ground, strikes, he hopes, a universally appealing chord. --Donna Chavez