Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Frederick Buechner, RIP

Frederick Buechner died on Monday at age 96. His books are a favorite of my pastor, often quoted. I've read, and profited from, and enjoyed, his work, too.

Prufrock quotes from an account about how Beuchner became a Christian:
.... Buechner had been baptized in his grandmother’s church as a boy and had hardly set foot in a church after that, but he began to worship at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. One Sunday George Buttrick, the renowned minister of the church, preached a sermon in which he compared the recent coronation of Queen Elizabeth to Jesus’ refusal of a crown from Satan. Buttrick noted that Jesus is a king nonetheless because he is “crowned in the heart of the people who believe in him” and that coronation takes place “among confession, and tears, and great laughter.”

Buechner recalled, “At the phrase great laughter, for reasons that I have never satisfactorily understood, the great Wall of China crumbled and Atlantis rose up out of the sea. Tears leapt from my eyes as though I had been struck across the face.... It was not so much that a door opened as that I suddenly found that a door had been open all along, which I had only just then stumbled upon.” ....
About Buechner at RNS:
While Buechner was ordained in a progressive mainline Protestant denomination, his fans also included Catholics and conservative evangelicals.

Russell Moore, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission who recently was named editor in chief of Christianity Today, credited Buechner’s writing with making him a better evangelical in a 2017 commentary for the magazine.

“J. Gresham Machen and Carl F.H. Henry taught me that I needn’t put my mind in a blind trust in order to follow Jesus. Buechner taught me the same about my imagination,” Moore wrote.
A Buechner quotation I found in a blog comment today:
OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.
Some Buechner quotations.

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