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Paperback Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC Book

ISBN: 0060611391

ISBN13: 9780060611392

Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

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Book Overview

In Wishful Thinking , the first book in his much-loved lexical trilogy, Frederick Buechner puts the language of God, the universe, and the human spirit under his wry linguistic microscope. In his often ironic and always keen-sighted reflections on such terms as agnostic, envy, love, and sin , he invited us to look at theses everyday words in new and enlightening ways. Freshly revised and expanded for this edition, Wishful Thinking is a "beguiling"...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Buechner Shares his Insightful Reflections on Everyday Words

"To confess your sins to God is not to tell him anything he doesn't already know. Until you confess them, however they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge." F. Buechner Theological short essays: A decade after Bishop Robinson, of Woolwich, wrote his little thought provoking book, 'Honest to God' in 1963, initiating a huge wave of theological examination of personal faith, and the western understanding of Christian religious concepts, a new lexicon is deeply sought. Based on redefining Church dogmatics, Buechner articulates those basic concepts of everyday life, in metaphoric analogies, and theologically provocative terms. "..., if you don't have any doubts, you are either kidding yourself or asleep. Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith." He describes faith as "A journey without maps," in his first volume of his trilogy. Wisdom in Humor: Buechner entertains with original humor that has empowered his witty distinct style, of subtle wisdom expressions, to reach out to and engage his readers. "Christianity is mainly wishful thinking...Sometimes the truth is what sets us wishing for it." He finds anger as, 'the most fun of the seven deadly sins,' and wine is booze, which makes the timid brave and the reserved amorous." Wishful Thinking: In the first book of his popular lexical trilogy, Buechner shares his insightful reflections on everyday words and issues like, envy, love, and sin, persuading us to examine them in novel ways and fresh perspective. The book has been praised by The Christian Century, as "Original, pungent and joyful." Chicago Tribune describe it as, "a dictionary for doubters and restless believers." The New York Times Book Review claims that 'Wishful Thinking' levels up with C.S. Lewis books. About the Author: Frederick Buechner, a superb aphorist, theological critic and author of more than thirty books, is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has been a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Quotable Christian

These warm but decidedly non-treacly theological mini-essays are just wonderful. I've never made any headway with Buechner's fiction, but this book reveals him as a superb aphorist. These essays were written to blow the dust off of shopworn religious words, to enable the reader to get at the great Christian themes afresh. They succeed--each essay is a pearl of homey wisdom and quiet wonder, soaked in tenderness and sensitivity and gentle humor. What's more amazing was that they were written at the close of the Sixties, during the Jesus Freak thing, yet very little residue of that era clings to them. They are darn near timeless.This first of three volumes of theological essays is the best, but the other two, _Whistling in the Dark_, and _Peculiar Treasures: A Biblical Who's Who_, are also well worth dipping into. Readers who have enjoyed these collections of aphorisms better than Buechner's fiction and other long form writing would probably enjoy _Listening to Your Life : Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner_, which is a sampler of all his work.

Great discussion starter

Buechner's Wishful Thinking provides thought-provoking ideas for well-read scholars, but is certainly accessible to anyone who is not afraid to think critically about matters of faith. It is a great resource for teachers and group leaders who want to get people talking, and it provides a useful challenge to typical opinions when discussion has reached a stalemate.

Truly a treasure!

This book is definitely one of my favorites. It isn't the kind you sit down and read cover to cover, although you could of course. I occasionally pick it up and read a definition or two and then need some time to digest it, because that is what I believe the author intends for you to do. His use of language is rich and I am left longing for more food for thought. Truly a treasure.

Most Thought-Provoking Book I've Ever Read

There are few books I can say I've read twice and probably none I've read 3 times. I've read this book at least 10 times, not always straight through, but in its entirety. Buechner is thoughtful, poignant, and funny. If this book doesn't make you reflect on life and religion, you need help. I carry with me quotes like, "reading the bible as literature is like reading Moby Dick as a whaling manual" or "an agnostic is someone who's not quite sure about the existence of God; that is, some of us all of the time and all of us some of the time. Doubt is the ants in the pants of religion." Buy this book now!
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