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Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons

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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  540 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Frederick Buechner has long been a kindred spirit to those who find elements of doubt as constant companions on their journey of faith. He is a passionate writer and preacher who can alter lives with a simple phrase.

Buechner's words, both written and spoken, have the power to revolutionize and revitalize belief and faith. He reveals the presence of God in the midst of dail
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by HarperOne (first published February 28th 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,254)
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Marilyn
This collection of Frederick Buechner's sermons is a great introduction to anyone who has not yet read anything by this national treasure. He is a magical writer who gets to the heart of our longing and need for our true home.
Joy
Dec 30, 2009 Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone needing inspiration or wanting to be a better preacher.
Recommended to Joy by: No one
Finally finished this last night. I think if more ministers preached like Frederick Buechner, more people might consider going to church. What makes his sermons so moving is the acceptance of human beings as flawed creatures who are doing what they can to stumble towards the eternal. In many of his sermons he addresses doubt as a normal part of spirituality and he is able to be clear about the differences between religion and faith. He himself also comes through his sermons as one of the flawed, ...more
Yvonne
Apr 01, 2013 Yvonne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: seekers
Recommended to Yvonne by: found it when looking for Buechner titles
Frederich Buechner has a blessed gift for choosing words and turning phrases, and for telling the human story of a spiritual being.

SOME QUOTES:

in principio Greek
bereshith Hebrew
IN THE BEGINNING
Before anything yet had been made that was to be made, before whatever it was that happened to make it possible for Being to happen. You can’t speak literally about such things, of course, but we assume that he is speaking as seriously as physicists also speak seriously about the possibility at least of a
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Matthew
There is much to like here, although I admit the first few sermons after the first, which is quite good, were actually pretty disappointing. I nearly put the book down. The second half -- I suppose as he gets older -- gets much, much better. The style is similar -- anecdotal, lyrical as you'd expect from a novelist, thoughtful -- so it is not a matter of change in style; rather the first few chapters just seemed simplistic, too much of a leap of faith and not terribly realistic if well-intention ...more
Christine
Buechner is so clear, thoughtful and eloquent. I remember trying to read him in high school and getting nowhere. I think I just had to grow up a bit. He's so wise and smart and yet so clearly full of heart and soul as he describes his encounters with Jesus. . . .. I'm going on a Buechner-bender at the moment as I have 4 book by him checked out from the library. He's feeding my soul.
Sarah Eisele
I read this here and there. Buechner is a Pulitzer-Prize nominated (runner up for Godric) author who I adore. He's a thoughtful, honest, "authentic" Christian author and preacher. I love his books and his sermons.
Charis
Frederick Buechner has the unique ability to speak newness and wisdom into the spiritual truths we have known for so long but still fail to grasp. His storytelling ability and graceful prose is unlike any preacher or Christian inpsiration author I have ever found. He renews the passion in the seeking, and the fundamental truth that Jesus died for me.

Some of his best:
"If we forget that we are waiting, if we come to believe that the best we have found of God here in these shadows is the best the
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Joel Wentz
A wonderful reminder that sermons need not follow the wooden, 3-point, problem-solution framework that so many preachers slavishly follow. Buechner is refreshing in his creativity, the way he weaves characters and stories into his preaching, and the earnest desire he has for people to fall in love with God. Many of the sermons in this collection are going to stick with me for a long time, and I highly recommend this book to anyone with even a passing interest in spiritual matters.
David Hardin
has it's points

Amazing storyteller and something inspirational in each sermon, but exegetically speaking it is lacking. Probably represents fine preaching from a mainline perspective, but falls short from an evangelical perspective.
Bryan
Buechner has long been one of my favorite authors. This is a compilation of sermons and other short pieces from throughout his career and is a very good way to get a glimpse of his excellent rhetorical skills.
Philip Ryan
Reading his sermon on vocation in this book was where I first experienced a "call" feeling.
Deborah Arvin
Again, I love everything Buechner writes. Never disappointed. In this book he's very candid about handling personal trials, one being how he dealt with a daughter who suffered from anorexia. Inspiring and encouraging.
Ross West
Simply magnificent in communicating the message of faith in relation to real life
Steve Penner
Nothing can compare to Buechner's fiction, not even his sermons. But they are still worth the read. This book comprises many (maybe all) of Buechner's sermons from the first given at Philips Exeter prep school in 1959 to his welcome of students at another school in 1997--almost 50 years of sermons. Buechner's high prose and turn of a phrase are unparalleled. I can only imagine what they sounded like when first spoken. I used this volume as a morning devotional and found it inspiring and a great ...more
Chris
Buechner is always a fantastic addition to my life: empowering, challenging, humorous and wise. This collection of his sermons and essays is no exception. They are chronologically arranged and as such provide a moving arc of his life: in the end we see Buechner the old man bidding adieu to his old school and to life itself. Powerful stuff, for Christians, whole, doubting and otherwise. He paints his prose in vibrant strokes and with a master's ancient dexterity.
Keith Feisel
this is a good book to sit down with when you have time to ponder. Buechner does a superb job at painting a picture when an honest brush and a colorful palette. If you want to write non-fiction on life and faith, it would serve you well to expose yourself to this author.
Luke
This book had one huge plus and one huge minus. Buechner is an incredible thinker and communicator of God's Word. He gives tons of insight into stories I have heard taught many times before. That said, I read a book of his sermons and I am not sure that he believes the biblical gospel. An interesting read for someone who is interested in biblical communication.
Larry
frederick buechner is an ordained presbyterian minister and professional writer. this book is a collection of amazing, moving, sermons that are so different than what we usually hear from our pulpits. you experience them like a sunset, learn things you never thought of before, and are more spiritual at the end
Jim Dykstra
Like any good preacher, some of these sermons aren't so good, but unlike many good preachers, Buechner's sermons often are stunning and soul-stopping. And this book has much more of the good messages, making it worth the time you have to wade through the slow ones. This book is written to be read slowly and savored.
Georgia
Very thoughtful and very literary sermons. I would really like to read more Buechner. The only thing that bothered me was that he was often playing the doubter but rarely straightforward–maybe he's just more subtle than Southern Baptists...
Sylvia
Buechner is one of my favorite authors and these are among his best sermons. If you've read his memoirs you recognize the many stories behind his illustrations and his choice of words. He's a beautiful, beautiful writer.
Barbara
Once again...it seems a little silly to *rate* one of Buechner's books. I've taken it very slowly...about ten months. Strange coming to the end of this one. I don't expect I'll put it on a shelf and forget about it.
Jeanna Stavas
Mar 04, 2015 Jeanna Stavas marked it as to-read
This book is a thinker..As much as I'd like to read it all the way through in one sitting, I like to read it a chapter at a time and really let the concept and ideas sink in. It's deep and I like it!
Lisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Allain
This book is a selection of Buechner's sermons - you could consider it a "greatest hits" of his sermons. Honestly, I believe it is the best book I've ever read... Also see www.frederickbuechner.com.
Melody
It's a great compilation of Frederick Beauchner's "greatest hits" sermons and readings, giving one an introduction to the depth that he goes into as he discovers who God is. A great journey so far.
Laura
Every page an inspiration. When I was writing sermons, I wanted to preach like him. My sister and brother and sister-in-law do, and I think it's when they're at their best.
Luke H
buechner is wonderful. i sat with this book for a long time, trying to absorb each sermon. his language is so good it draws you into the concepts so deeply. a great collection.
Jamie Park
Compelling writer. Vivid imagination. Empathic approach to giving sermons. Sensitive to his congregation and, through this book, his reader.
Bob
Oct 25, 2007 Bob rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: faith
The best sermon writer/story teller of his day. His insights into scripture are priceless and always intriguing. His sermons make my heart sing.
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Frederick Buechner is a highly influential writer and theologian who has won awards for his poetry, short stories, novels and theological writings. His work pioneered the genre of spiritual memoir, laying the groundwork for writers such as Anne Lamott, Rob Bell and Lauren Winner.

His first book, A Long Day's Dying, was published to acclaim just two years after he graduated from Princeton. He entere
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More about Frederick Buechner...
Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner Godric The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days Telling Secrets

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“Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God’s voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.” 22 likes
“God knows we have our own demons to be cast out, our own uncleanness to be cleansed. Neurotic anxiety happens to be my own particular demon, a floating sense of doom that has ruined many of what could have been, should have been, the happiest days of my life, and more than a few times in my life I have been raised from such ruins, which is another way of saying that more than a few times in my life I have been raised from death - death of the spirit anyway, death of the heart - by the healing power that Jesus calls us both to heal with and to be healed by.” 4 likes
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