Embracing paradox and living to tell the tale

BOOK REVIEW:  Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes In God: How To Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace.  Frank Schaeffer, 2014

Frank Schaeffer Cover

I completely understand the puzzlement that comes over people when I declare myself a believer and an atheist. It’s not something that comes up all the time of course but occasionally there’s no avoiding it and you just have to come clean. Once it went like this: “I was a Christian, then I became an atheist.” It was sad for some people to hear. But at least it was neat and they knew where I stood. Now it’s: “I still don’t believe in the God the atheists don’t believe in, but I pray every day.” And that’s just messy. Explain it and it gets messier.

People aren’t good with messy. While I’m obscenely comfortable in this paradoxical pigeon-hole I’ve carved out for myself, I’ve had to resign myself to the fact that on questions like this people prefer ‘either-or’ to ‘both-and’, and so it’s felt like something of a solitary little niche. That said, you can imagine my delight when I stumbled on the totally messy title of Frank Schaeffer’s latest book, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God. Continue reading “Embracing paradox and living to tell the tale”

The Other Son

340467096_640When 18-year-old Joseph Silbers reports for national service with the Israeli military a blood test shows that he is not the biological son of the parents who raised him, Alon, an Israeli Army commander, and Orith, a prominent physician. Inquiries reveal that Joseph is in fact the child of Said and Leila Al-Bezaaz, Palestinians who live in the West Bank, and that the Silbers’ true son has grown up in Palestine as Yacine, the Al-Bezaaz’s son. It turns out that the two boys were accidentally switched eighteen years earlier when the hospital in which they were born was evacuated during a scud missile attack. The revelation turns the lives of the two families upside down, forcing them to reassess their identities, values, and beliefs. Continue reading “The Other Son”