FREDERICK BUECHNER TELLING THE TRUTH PDF

The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale Book Description To understand what the gospels are all about, writes Frederick Buechner, you have to understand their unblinking reflection of everyday reality. There is no place here for either saccharine, happy endings, or soft-boiled hope. Rather, the gospels record the tragedy of human failure, the comedy of being loved overwhelmingly by God despite that failure, and the fairy tale of transformation through that love. If we understand this, we begin to understand much more. We realize that Pilate is an old man who drives to work in a limousine but smokes three packs a day. We see that the parables are divine jokes about the outlandishness of God who does impossible things with impossible people.

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Sunday, December 15, Telling the Truth by Frederick Buechner Telling the Truth by Frederick Buechner is a book I was excited to read but also fearful of reading for I had since tried to read his fiction and found it so complicated that I had to put it down in hopes that when I next pick it up my mind will be more mature and open to his writing style.

This is nonfiction though, and perhaps that is why I became accustomed to reading this book versus his fictional work that I hope to pick up again someday, because although his style was complex and beautiful and haunting, it was very clear and mind shattering.

Buechner is one of those special writers who not only writes these unexplainable emotions down on paper in colorful terms but also has an ability to connect with his readers and touch a part of them that is held close to their heart. I believe that all books have the ability to touch our lives but there are some authors that have the insane ability to do this so well that you feel as if reading another author would be an insult to the one you are so fond of.

Indeed I was sad when I shut this book for the final time. It was truly a remarkable read. The book is split into four sections - the introduction, the gospel as tragedy, the gospel as comedy, and the gospel as fairy tale.

I want to take a moment to address each section. The introduction really drew me into the book but it was the three main parts that had me hooked. The gospel as tragedy focuses on the apparent absence of God in the real world.

What does Buechner mean by absence? He is referring to the idea that people have created that God cannot be real for if he were, bad things would not happen. Of the many Biblical examples Buechner uses in this section, the one he comes back to the most is John chapter 11, the Death of Lazarus.

Buechner goes to great lengths to explain the psychology of the chapter, explaining that Jesus wept for Lazarus for many reasons. Despite all the miracles, despite being the son of God, he did not save this man and God had not saved him either.

So when he hangs on the cross and shouts, "my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me", he is asking, "where are you God? And yet this very scene points to the fact that God makes himself present in his absence, Buechner explains. People try to explain God but Buechner says "they are words without knowledge that obscure the issue of God by trying to define him as present in ways and places where he is not present, to define him as moral order, as the best answer man can give to the problem of his life.

God is not an answer man can give, God says. God himself does not give answers. He gives himself, and into the midst of the whirlwind of his absence gives himself. It paints a new picture of the gospel for the reader I believe it was this section that surprised me the most. The whole idea of the gospel being comedy is something I never stopped to consider. Buechner uses the Biblical example of Genesis when an angel comes to tell Abraham and Sarah that Sarah is pregnant at the age of In this chapter, Sarah laughs when the angel tells her the news and God asks her why she laughed and she then lies, saying she did not laugh.

I can imagine a comedy movie being made about the old lady who was pregnant at 91 years old. It is so funny because it is so ridiculous and Sarah knew it, Abraham knew it, and so did God.

In fact, he instructed the couple to name their son Isaac which means he laughs. Jesus never gives a clear answer to things, nor does God. Buechner explains this technique with the technique of telling a good joke. Say you are at a dinner party and you tell a hilarious joke you heard at work to the crowd of quiet people, all eyes on you expecting to laugh, and you expecting them to laugh too because it truly was quite funny.

The same can be said for Jesus who stood in front of large crowds speaking the gospel. It would ruin the message. The last section, the gospel as fairy tale, is one that I consider myself very familiar with. Buechner references many great works of fantasy and fairy tale such as the Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings, and the Wizard of Oz.

What these stories, and most other fantasy and fairy tale works is that nothing is what it seems. The white which is not pure but evil and Aslan is not a killer but gentle. Dorothy is a little girl yet the hero of the story. Glinda is beautiful but a witch. And Jesus is a king in spite of everything. He looks like a poor man and unworthy but beneath it all he is the son of God, a king, God in the flesh.

Just as the ugly duckling transformed into a swan and the beast transformed into a handsome prince, Jesus is proof that beauty resides in unexpected places. Many people would expect that if God showed up today he would be dressed in a nice tuxedo with his hair slicked back and a successful back story on his shoulders but in fact God is the man at the soup kitchen poorly dressed for the cold weather or the young school teacher helping her students everyday after school.

Like the fairy tale and fantasy, the gospel is never what it seems. It is easily one of the best books I have read this year and I plan on reading much more from Frederick Buechner. The book was rich, the language was exquisite, and the content was brilliant and beautiful. I will give this book 5 out of 5 stars! Posted by.

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Frederick Buechner

Your answer can instantly describe a good deal of your character and will get you instantly categorized. Lewis, a brilliant writer in his own regard. The other is Frederick Buechner. Like Lewis, Buechner is an absolute master of both literature and theology, a man whose imagination is as expansive as his intellect. He is an incredible painter, though in lieu of portraits he paints stories.

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Telling the Truth Quotes

Sunday, December 15, Telling the Truth by Frederick Buechner Telling the Truth by Frederick Buechner is a book I was excited to read but also fearful of reading for I had since tried to read his fiction and found it so complicated that I had to put it down in hopes that when I next pick it up my mind will be more mature and open to his writing style. This is nonfiction though, and perhaps that is why I became accustomed to reading this book versus his fictional work that I hope to pick up again someday, because although his style was complex and beautiful and haunting, it was very clear and mind shattering. Buechner is one of those special writers who not only writes these unexplainable emotions down on paper in colorful terms but also has an ability to connect with his readers and touch a part of them that is held close to their heart. I believe that all books have the ability to touch our lives but there are some authors that have the insane ability to do this so well that you feel as if reading another author would be an insult to the one you are so fond of. Indeed I was sad when I shut this book for the final time. It was truly a remarkable read. The book is split into four sections - the introduction, the gospel as tragedy, the gospel as comedy, and the gospel as fairy tale.

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"Telling The Truth" – Frederick Buechner – Review

In The Sacred Journey Buechner recalls: "Virtually every year of my life until I was fourteen, I lived in a different place, had different people to take care of me, went to a different school. The only house that remained constant was the one where my maternal grandparents lived in a suburb of Pittsburgh called East Liberty Apart from that one house on Woodland Road, home was not a place to me when I was a child. It was people. Bermuda left a lasting impression on Buechner. The distinctly British flavor of pre-World War II Bermuda provided in him a lifelong appreciation of English custom and culture, which would later inspire such works as Godric and Brendan.

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