Jerry & Cristie Jo Johnston Interviews Frank Schaeffer on His Journey to Atheism

Dr. Cristie Jo Johnston (@ChristieJoJohn) and I sat down and filmed an interview  for our upcoming documentary with Frank Schaeffer in Boston. He Executive Produced his father’s globally acclaimed film series, “How Then Shall We Live,” and “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?”  Regarding his dad, Michael Hamilton of Christianity Today wrote,”Perhaps no intellectual save C. S. Lewis affected the thinking of evangelicals more profoundly [than Francis Schaeffer]; perhaps no leader of the period save Billy Graham left a deeper stamp on the movement as a whole.” How then did his own son leave the faith of his father? Nearly 70MM adult Americans have left the church. One in three comprise Millennials. Why? The sons and daughters of notable Christian leaders have exited, too. Frank was gracious and kind during our 2 ½ hour absolutely fascinating interview. Cristie and I have a sincere motivation to dig deep with international research and help Christendom understand why this phenomenon is happening, what the future statistical prediction for America is barring divine intervention, and, most importantly, create a digital series representing extensive research to catechize those who believe on three different levels: children, youth, and adult. To this ambitious aim we have now filmed with 87 international distinguished leaders in atheism, agnosticism, secularism, sociologists, and Christian apologists. The digital tools we create will be designed in different languages and stretch around the globe in addition to a documentary that will capture the attention of millions of people. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Here is a clip from our recent interview with Frank. Cristie asked:  

“ ‘So Frank are you praying to God, then?’ I pray exactly as I was taught. In my book, Jesus is God. And so I don’t pray to the gods out there somewhere. But, on then on the other hand, you know, just to flip it for a minute in the paradoxical area, when I read my granddaughter Lucy Greek mythology of which she is an avid fan, and um, has to be the only 8-year-old wondering around in her third grade saying the Iliad is her favorite book, but that is a different deal. She has a weird grandfather. Um, and as we talk, and I read her Bible stories, not as religious, but just as stories along with it, although we go to church so she knows it is more serious, and she sort of asks, ‘Which is true?’ I have to be honest with her and say, ‘I don’t know.’”

Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times best selling author, film director, screenwriter, and public speaker.  He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. While Schaeffer was a conservative, fundamentalist Christian in his youth, he has changed his views, becoming a liberal Democrat and a self-described atheist.


Hamilton, Michael (March 3, 1997). “The Dissatisfaction of Francis Schaeffer”. Christianity Today. (Accessed November 7, 2016).

Researchers, Drs. Jerry and Cristie Jo Johnston, are Executive Producing a quick-paced film via trans continental, staccato interviews documenting the shocking rise of the non-religious.