The following is the introduction to Buechner's first memoir " The Sacred Journey " which was published in ABOUT TEN years ago I gave a set of lectures at Harvard in which I made the observation that all theology, like all fiction, is at its heart autobiography, and that what a theologian is doing essentially is examining as honestly as he can the rough-and-tumble of his own experience with all its ups and downs, its mysteries and loose ends, and expressing in logical, abstract terms the truths about human life and about God that he believes he has found implicit there. More as a novelist than as a theologian, more concretely than abstractly, I determined to try to describe my own life as evocatively and candidly as I could in the hope that such glimmers of theological truth as I believed I had glimpsed in it would shine through my description more or less on their own. It seemed to me then, and seems to me still, that if God speaks to us at all in this world, if God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives that he speaks. Someone we love dies, say.
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This memoir reflects on key moments of the author's early life, from childhood to his entering seminary, that reveal how God speaks to us in a variety of ways every moment of every day. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 11th by HarperOne first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Sacred Journey , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 30, Carol rated it it was amazing. This was insightful, uncommonly honest, and beautiful. I couldn't put the book down, but had to, twice, before finishing the mere pages 3 chapters called "Once Below a Time, Once Upon a Time, and Beyond Time". I will not share any of the story, so as not to ruin any of it for future readers; however, if you long to journey well, you will be encouraged by this autobiographical work which has at its core, an interest in helping others to know faith, hope and love in this lost world.
I can't sa This was insightful, uncommonly honest, and beautiful. I can't say it better than a review from Christian Century, "Reveals the ultimate goodness of things A book filled with wonders. I've finished my first Buechner, a birthday gift from a friend, and what a gift both the words and the friend. And just this week, after reading a large portion of the middle section of this lovely memoir, I heard another work of Buechner's Whistling in the Dark quoted on two different episodes of The Next Right Thing podcast.
I understand the attenti I've finished my first Buechner, a birthday gift from a friend, and what a gift both the words and the friend. I understand the attention. This book is a telling, in three parts, of Buechner's life as he comes to faith in Christ.
Buechner's descriptive abilities are filled with such detail and honesty that as I think of this book and as I will certainly continue to think of it, the memories he wrote about will seem like my own, so much did he draw the scenes for me. I'm off now to get my hands on one of the many books I get to discover in this has-to-be rich backlist. May 17, Rebekah Choat rated it really liked it Shelves: owned. He recounts, with candor, humor and the clarity of hindsight, events which shaped him and directed his journey through childhood to young adulthood; and in so doing, shares his particular perspective on many of the rites of passage common to us all.
Jan 23, Karen rated it it was amazing. This is the most thought-provoking and encouraging book I have read in quite some time. What a writer. So many of the experiences mostly "ah ha" moments, really that Buechner shares resonate with my soul. I marked so many pages. I must read more of Frederick Buechner's writing.
Jun 29, Marty rated it it was amazing. I was given this book by my brother-in-law, who has me figured out well. This is a beautiful memoir and does truly tell, not one man's story, but the story of many. Buechner's descriptions are sensual and rich. They draw vivid lines and yet feel like dreams. I'm so glad I finally got into this book. I started it on a reading-adventure-day in the sun with a friend.
And so I will, gratefully, be able to tie it in my memory to both people in my life. One powerful selection that rung me on self refl I was given this book by my brother-in-law, who has me figured out well. One powerful selection that rung me on self reflection and understanding: "But to lose track of those depths to the extent that I was inclined to--to lose track of the deep needs beyond our own needs and those of our closest friends; to lose track of the deep mystery beyond or at the heart of the mystery of our separate selves--is to lose track also of what our journey is a journey toward and of the sacredness and high adventure of our journey.
Mar 16, Emily rated it really liked it. It's been a while since I stayed up through the night to complete a book. The Sacred Journey was the perfect one for me to read during this time of "lenten lack" as I guess you could call it—no TV, no YouTube, none of the usual stuff I use to distract myself.
It forces me to confront the quiet; but Buechner has a better phrase: he endorses the regular exercise of listening to your life. He gives us just a handful of pages and all are beautifully expressed—it's Buechner after all—and yes, it's mem It's been a while since I stayed up through the night to complete a book. He gives us just a handful of pages and all are beautifully expressed—it's Buechner after all—and yes, it's memoir-ish.
More than anything it's about his slow climb into Christ's arms. I guess I wasn't expecting that even though I should have , and came away encouraged by it. I appreciate how he pulls all the audio clips from his early life together; how he doesn't try to justify the odd, tiny moments that were significant to him.
We know why they were significant: They calcified a belief and relationship with Christ he danced around for 27 years, a turning point so important he sets it as the last thought the book—coupled with a poetic turn of phrase, though, because he can't help himself. I loved that. May 21, Melanie rated it it was amazing Shelves: religion. The Sacred Journey is memoir, poetry and philosophy in one slim novel and I loved it! The seeming unorganized stories come together much like real life does… where big moments hardly matter and the small, seemingly unimportant, conversations can change everything.
His spirituality is not overbearing, it is honest and real, while at the same time rooted and sound. I found myself extremely encouraged in my own journey of faith because of this book. At first, I was a little put off by his over-thought and extreme poetic style of writing. After reading that quote, I sort of relaxed and sat back to enjoy the ride and let the book just take me wherever he was going.
One thing that is amazing to me is how optimistic Buechner is, despite the harshness of his life and his emotionally under-developed family. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from. You can survive on your own. You can grow strong on your own.
You can even prevail on your own. But you cannot become human on your own. And the way we have to go is full of perils, both from without and from within, and who can say for sure what we will find at the end of our journeys, or if, when that time comes, it will prove to be anything more than such a beautiful dream… Faith.
Love-- As words so worn out, but as realities so rich. Our going-away presents from beyond time to carry with us through time to lighten our step as we go. That in the long run nothing, not even the world, not even ourselves, can separate us forever from that last and deepest love that glimmers in our dusk like a pearl, like a face. Buechner basically promises that becoming a Christian is not the end of your journey, nor is it the beginning; it is just part of the whole of what God is doing in your life and in the lives of others.
View 1 comment. Nov 22, Matthew Ritter rated it really liked it. Buechner assumes that, "the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all. Doing as he implores us to do, he looks back on his life to find the blessings he missed or half forgot. Buechner relays not only milestone highlights but also mundane lowlights and trifling no-lights that prove to be as significant in shaping him.
He dwells longest on episodes that provoke him to Buechner assumes that, "the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all. He dwells longest on episodes that provoke him to reflect on more than the happenings. He's adept at extrapolating from specifics to generalities. His recollections of childhood are especially profound.
The short book is laden with meaningful truths.
Introduction to The Sacred Journey
The Sacred Journey