Saturday, September 14, 2013

Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy TaleTelling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale by Frederick Buechner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If art is a creation which captures some deep essence of truth, and in which the whole transcends the sum of its parts, then this masterfully-told story is art of a mythical and poetic form rarely seen in our Western society -- a society in which we tend to focus on the logical and empirical than the equally legitimate range of human experience in the poetic and mythic. Buechner helps draw us back to experience some of that poetic and mythical quality, and even understand some of the jokes that too seriously minded folk might miss from a less imaginative reading of the gospel story. I'm afraid anything further that I could say about this book would fail to do justice to Beuchner's essay, which reads like the yarn of a master story teller and which is framed by the image of a man giving a sermon. Instead of telling the reader "about" the gospel, as a nonfiction writer would do, Buechner leads us to experience for ourselves, and thus to better understand, the elements of tragedy, comedy, and fairy tale, as we ourselves are drawn closer through these interactions to a greater appreciation for the divine. This book is a short read and an easy to read book, but it is one that will both be read more than once and which will profoundly influence how one relates to idea and metaphor in the grand and beautiful story -- tragedy, comedy, and fairy tale, all -- that we call the Bible.

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