Christian writer Frank Schaeffer, prophet, heretic or curmudgeon (depends who you ask) recently wrote a book titled Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God. In an interview on the book with Brian McLaren Schaeffer observes:
“having published a book with a title that says ‘Why I am an Atheist who Believes in God,” I’m getting all kinds of shit from atheists who say, ‘You’re not a real atheist!'” (11:08-15)
Personally, I agree with that sentiment. Schaeffer’s not a real atheist, though the book’s title is definitely clever and thought provoking.
At the same time, I can’t help but wonder how many of those complainants might have endorsed the following widely reproduced quip that Richard Dawkins made in his book A Devil’s Chaplain:
“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
If we’re all, as Dawkins says, atheists, then Frank Schaeffer is free to reply to his grumpy critics, “I’m just an atheist about one less god than you.”