A kind of "mongrel litter" by way of Pascal, Voltaire, and Ambrose Bierce, this theological run through the alphabet goes from Abraham and Agnostic straight through to YWHW and Zaccheus--the tax collector who shimmied up the tree on Palm Sunday to get a good look at Jesus. In between we get a heady brew of humor and wisdom. On Anger, for example, Buechner writes: "Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun.... 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." Or this, on wine: "Unfermented grape juice is a bland and pleasant drink ... [but] it is a ghastly symbol of the life blood of Jesus Christ, especially when served in individual antiseptic, thimble-sized glasses. Wine is booze, which means it is dangerous and drunk-making. It makes the timid brave and the reserved amorous. It loosens the tongue and breaks the ice especially when served in a loving cup. It kills germs. As symbols go, it is a rather splendid one."
And the book's title? Find it under "W": "Christianity is mainly wishful thinking.... Sometimes wishing is the wings the truth comes on. Sometimes the truth is what sets us wishing for it." --Doug Thorpe
"Original, pungent and joyful." -- The Christian Century
"Thoughtful, spirited, entertaining...a dictionary for doubters and restless believers." -- Chicago Tribune
A beguiling book...Buechner handles difficult subjects (eternity, immortality, prayer) with a casual aplomb and easy analogy." -- Time