WISHFUL THINKING: A Theological A B C by Frederick Buechner
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What follows is a kind of mongrel litter by Pascal's Pensees, out of Voltaire's Dictionnaire Philosophique, via The Devil's Dictionary of Ambrose Bierce,"" and Dr. Buechner, novelist and Presbyterian minister, is off into ""Agnostic"" (""Abraham"" and ""Adam and Eve"" are cross-referenced). And pity the poor agnostic who works hard at it, only to see just the other side of the mountain -- ""That faint glimmer on the far horizon could have been just Disneyland."" The ""Bible"" (a book ""befouled with inexplicable italics"" in which ""prophets are wildly repetitious and almost never know where to stop"") is a book about both the sublime and unspeakable -- about us. And Buechner's A-Z ranges from the serendipitous sublime (""It is as impossible for man to demonstrate the existence of God as it would be for even Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Conan Doyle"") to the unspeakably lax (""In his holy flirtation with the world God occasionally drops a handkerchief. These handkerchiefs are called saints.""). But in between, most of Buechner's pronouncements are lively and insidiously stimulating -- fairly conservative in basic Protestant theology, liberal in application. Spirited enough to entice the most unconcerned layman.

Pub Date: March 14th, 1973
Publisher: Harper & Row