Telling the Truth: the Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairytale

Telling the Truth: the Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairytale, by Frederick Buechner.

Go ahead, let this titled PROVOKE you. But it’s not what you think. It’s MUCH BETTER than that!

This is the first Buechner book I ever read and it turned me on to the rest of the man’s works. If I have a “theological God-father” Buechner is it.  I have to credit Dan Wessler, my Worship & Preaching professor at seminary for making this book required reading. And it’s not a “seminary book.”  It’s the kind of book EVERY pastor, DCE and adult student of the Gospel should read.

Buechner helps the reader understand how to tell the story to others, by helping us understand how the story connects to the human experience: beginning as a tragedy, moving into comedy, and giving hope like like a fairytale (in the literary definition, he iS NOT suggesting the Gospel is ‘made up’). It’s hard to describe how WONDERFULLY Buechner makes this movement work… afterall, he’s the genius…I’m just the blogger.

Quote: Telling the Truth is for the person who must pull the little cord that turns on the lectern light, must look out over the people and the silence, must begin to speak of a truth that is beyond telling.

Quote from a review: A sermon arises out of silence, and that silence is both an opportunity and a warning. An audience sits in the pews waiting, and each of those who sit there bring with them a long and complicated history. How will you reach them? How will you awaken them? “Tell them the truth,” Buechner says in this brief and powerful book. The Gospel begins here, out of this silence: “It is life with the sound turned off so that for a moment or two you can experience it not in terms of the words you make it bearable by but for the unutterable mystery that it is.” Out of this silence, he writes, the “real news comes, which is sad news before it is glad news and that is fairy tale last of all.”

Quote from the book:  If we are to say anthing that really matters to anyone, … we must address themselves to the fullness of who we are and to the emptiness too, the emptiness where grace and peace belong but mostly are not, because terrible as well as wonderful things have happened to us all.

The Rev Frederick Buechner is a prolific author of Christian books, a Presbyterian “Thomas Merton with humor.”

See his other books recommended in this blog. They’re great.
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Here’s a direct link to the book on Christianbook.com at a great price…

7284: Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale
By Frederick Buechner / HarperOneTelling the Truth is for the preacher who must pull the little cord that turns on the lectern light, must look out over the people and the silence, must begin to speak of a truth beyond telling. It is for the woman who wants to understand how people believe what they cheerfully acknowledge is a tragic, comic fairy tale. It is for anyone who believes that faith, like art, can hold a special mirror to human experience.
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