Thursday, September 15, 2005

 

Buechner

When I make up my list of favorite books 100 pages or less, a book that's sure to be on that list is Frederick Buechner's little book Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC. It is soooo gooood. Funny, clever, profound, irreverent, imaginative, it's simply a delight to read. I'll try and post some of it here from time to time. I really liked portions of his entry on immortality. In light of my brother's recent death I really appreciated the way he writes about death and resurrection for the Christian, particularly the last bit of what I quote below:

Immortality

Immortal means death-proof. To believe in the immortality of the soul is to believe that though John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave, his soul goes marching on simply because marching on is the nature of souls just the way producing apples is the nature of apple trees. Bodies die, souls don't.

True or false this is not the biblical view, although many who ought to know better assume it is. The biblical view differs in several significant ways...

When he (Jesus) heard that his friend Lazarus was dead, he didn't mouth some pious cliche about what a merciful release ti was. He wept.

All the major Christian creeds affirm belief in resurrection of the body. In other words they affirm the belief that what God in spite of everything prizes enough to bring back to life is not just some disembodied echo of a human being but a new and revised version of all the things which made him the particular human being he was and which he needs something like a body to express his personality, the way he looked, the sound of his voice, his peculiar capacity for creating and loving, in some sense his face.


Frederick Buechner's Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC, pp. 41-42.

Comments:
I'm going to have read this one, now.
 
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