PATTERNS OF GRACE: Human Experience as Word of God by Tom F. Driver

PATTERNS OF GRACE: Human Experience as Word of God

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Driver takes himself off one hook by saying modestly that the logic of his book is musical rather than linear. This leaves him free to roam, but he does state his main themes at the outset. One of these is action: ""initiative, motive, and authoring of one's experiences""--the point when the figure emerges from the field in gestalt, when the decision is made to act. Recent theology gives importance to stories and is alert to concrete, specific experience as one of its sources. ""All my experience is the Word of God for me. I mean the dirt, the pain, the confusion, the courage, the flinching, the growth."" Driver is a teacher (at Union Theological Seminary) and on the evidence an effective one; he has also been a drama critic and poetry anthologist. It shows: he can pose the question ""What prompts a beginning?"" with a picture of the middle-aged marriage bed. He can place the threat of chaos with a tenderly observed story of a disintegrating graduate seminar. There is contrasting material. Driver refights old battles with his mother--alas that she should have wanted respectability! Old faculty meetings are taken even more seriously, one colleague being referred to throughout as ""the Beast."" For Driver error has no rights. There is a great deal of meaty theologicai talk, withal--rewarding for the reader who's properly schooled.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1977
Publisher: Harper & Row