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Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons + Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner + Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins; New edition edition (3 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061146617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061146619
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


He has the rare gift of taking biblical text and helping us to see it [...] in a completely new way. --Lexington Herald Leader

...his work is a revelation...Here Buechner s storytelling abilities and eye for detail are at their best. --The Lutheran

An elegant and life-giving memoir. --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Frederick Buechner, author of more than thirty works of fiction and nonfiction, is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has been a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent work is Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC s of Faith.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roger Boon VINE VOICE on 17 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have heard in passing of Frederick Buechner for many years,but it is not till now,persuaded by the gifted Brian Mclaren,have I read one of his books.And what a feast I have been missing! This collection of semons,taken from across his long lifetime of ministry and covering a broad range of subjects has consistently moved me like no other Christian or secular writing has ever done.His writing is that of a geat craftsman,so often allusive rather than direct,yet it has penetrated within me depths I barely knew existed and illuminated them with the presence of Christ.His are the words of a halting,personal,authentic humanity in search of its Creator. You always sense his integrity and feel safe in his presence,yet little by little and word by word you are drawn into places where the deepest longings of your own humanity are brought to the surface to receive the Bread of Life. Truly "Secrets in the Dark." If ever the Holy Spirit filled the very fabric of writing,this is truly one of the places. Come to the table and eat.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 35 reviews
127 of 130 people found the following review helpful
Appealingly Honest and Relevantly Skillful 17 Feb. 2006
By JAD - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Here is a new and noteworthy collection of sermons by one of our most celebrated Christian apologists, Frederick Buechner. Ranging from sermons delivered in the 1950s to the late 1990s, this anthology lives up to its subtitle, presenting a half-century's worth of thinking aloud about the Christian way. Buechner, who has described himself as a part-time Christian and a part-time novelist, offers the reader many windows into the oftentimes hidden world of Christian truth.

The collection begins with a sermon called "The Magnificent Defeat" concentrating upon the all-night wrestling match between Jacob and God at the ford of the Jabbok. The encounter leaves Jacob crippled and helpless but as Buechner describes it, in the end Jacob sees "something more terrible than the face of death-the face of love." (Page 7). Thanks to Buechner's vantage-point, one can sense authentic surprise, like that the original Phillips Exeter Academy student-congregation must have felt at hearing the news that out of defeat can come blessing.

Herein the reader will find one of Buechner's best-loved sermons, "A Room Called Remember" and many apt observations that will inspire further contemplation and study. In all of these sermons, the reader is invited to notice that "The Kingdom of Heaven is only twenty minutes down the road, for Christ's sake." (Page 153). One of the most poignant passages in the book is in the intensely personal "The Longing for Home". As Buechner reminisces about sense of security he found as a child, in his grandparents' house on Woodland Road in Pittsburgh, we identify with the feelings of homesickness and yearning that lead the seeking soul into God's presence.

There is a breathtaking sweep of subjects here, ranging from the existence of God and the importance of being kind, to AIDS, terrorism and nuclear war. In "Faith and Fiction", Buechner explores the truth in Biblical and other texts creatively, and offers a beautifully descriptive paragraph-long definition of faith, culminating: "Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch. Faith is waiting. Faith is journeying through space and time". He champions Charles Dickens as well as the influence of Leo Tolstoy and Anthony Trollope, about whose similarity to God's interaction with us, Buechner says, "Be still the way (they are) still, so your characters can speak for themselves and come alive in their own way". (Pages 173 & 174).

Buechner's words draw us into an alternative, need we say better, world-view, which may best be described by Buechner: "Power, success, happiness, as the world knows them, are his who will fight for them hard enough; but peace, love, joy are only from God." (page 7)

Frederick Buechner is an ordained Presbyterian minister and the acclaimed author of more than twenty-five books. A graduate of Princeton University (1947) and Union Theological Seminary (1958), Buechner served for a time with his mentor George Buttrick at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, where, as he has said, "My job...was to present the faith as appealingly, honestly, relevantly and skillfully as I could." He continues to do this, brilliantly, in Secrets in the Dark. Buechner's Nobel lectures delivered at Harvard in 1969 were published as The Alphabet of Grace, and his Lyman Beecher Lectures of Yale became Telling the Truth (1977). This new collection is sure to become a Buechner best seller.

If you find this review helpful you might want to read some of my other reviews, including those on subjects ranging from biography to architecture, as well as religion and fiction.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons 17 Feb. 2007
By Wm A. Kachadorian - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I believe that this collection of sermons by Fredrerick Buechner is profoundly rich in sensitivity and wisdom, proclaiming without a hint of judgment and with authentic humility and integrity, the good and reassuring news of God's mysterious and redeeming presence in this world, including to believers, non-believers, non-believers-who-wish-they-could believe, and the indifferent.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Secrets in the dark 3 July 2007
By Abigail Elrod - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Frederick Buechner is a warm, loving, witty, intellectual whom I greatly admire. After reading this book I have grown even fonder of him and I like to think grown in my faith a great deal too. It was my church service every morning. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I loved it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Biased opinion 11 Aug. 2007
By M. Conrad - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am an unabashed fan of Frederick Buechner. His use of stories enforces my personal conviction that doctine preached is less effective than Christ lived...inside or outside the church. I love his style and he is one of "those" three or four that I wish I could share a meal with and literally watch him tell his stories.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Intelligent, Thoughtful and Beautiful 21 Sept. 2008
By willworkforbooks - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a great find. It appeared one day on my Amazon recommendation list and I impulsively bought it. I am glad I did because Buechner has quickly become my new favorite Christian writer.

The sermons are beautifully written and as relevant today as they were when he preached them decades ago. His reflections are thoughtful and his thoughts original. I have given this book to several friends who would characterize themselves as unbelieving intellectuals and they have appreciated his wisdom and insight. This book is both food for the intellect and the soul.
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