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|Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy & Fairy Tale|
by Frederick Buechner
Published by Harper & Row, 1977
Suggested by: Ross Pavlac
A discussion of the Gospel as tragedy, comedy, and fairy tale.
Everyone knows that the word "gospel" means "good news." Buechner argues that, before it can be good news, it must first be bad news, and before it can even be bad news, it must be silence.
Let him tell them the truth. Before the gospel is a word, it is silence. It is the silence of their own lives and of his life. 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. (p. 23.)
Buechner's eloquence and imagination shine through in this work, and if he is not always strictly accurate in dealing with the Biblical texts or familiar fairy tales, his central premise is true: in preaching the gospel, we must tell it as the truth it is, which encompasses all the complexity and tragedy of "real life", but which also encompasses the divine joke, and, in the end, is a story which is "too good not to be true." (p. 98) Greg Slade (July, 2005)
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