Frank Schaeffer, AND GOD SAID, “BILLY” (Outskirts Press, 2013).
Frank Schaeffer is, probably, the most prolific Christian writer in the last two decades who has, directly and clearly, addressed the dysfunctional nature of the conservative evangelical family in the USA and beyond. Schaeffer has employed a variety of genres, in a gimlet like manner, to make it abundantly clear why the conservative evangelical mind is toxic in a variety of crude and subtle ways. Schaeffer knows why this is the case----he has dwelt in the tents of the clan for many a year—in fact, he often appears to be a traitor to the tribe---dirty laundry is hung out for one and all to see.
It is one thing to suggest, in a literary way, what an authentic spiritual seeker should be wary of and free from. It is quite another thing to articulate, in a convincing and persuasive manner, to a generation of skeptics and new atheists, why the spiritual quest is worth the doing. Schaeffer has, in The Calvin Becker Trilogy, made it limpidly obvious, how good and naive spiritual intentions can be bent and twisted to serve questionable and destructive ends. It is significant that Schaeffer has used “Calvin” as his metaphoric portal into such a journey----Calvin’s family tree from the 16th century to the present is a questionable heritage. The Calvin Becker Trilogy clarified, in a variety of ways, what a discerning spiritual seeker should be wary of and free from. What, though, should a person with deeper longings and hungers be free for? Such is the underlying myth and theme of And God Said, “Billy”.