Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Frederick Buechner

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creator is the novelist and theologian Frederick Buechner (pronounced Beek-ner): 

Buechner on Prayer

Grace

Buechner on Life

In the seventies, eighties and nineties, I spent a lot of my reading with theologians. I can hear the groans out there. But I was seriously trying to figure out something a lot of people had down pat. What kind of spirituality did I want to embrace?

This search led me in a lot of directions that included Catholicism, Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Taoism. I looked at a variety of practices outside the mainstream including certain new age practices, such as the tarot and reiki. For a while, I attended Quaker Meetings. I even dipped my toe into Jungian psychology. But, I have to tell you. My shadow scared the bejeezus out of me.

Each of these spiritualities offered something I could embrace. But none was completely satisfying. I kept thinking why did I have to choose? So I made my choice. I chose the way that Robert Frost called “The Road Not Taken”. I finally arrived at a point that I was not about to choose.

And I came to one conclusion about God. I was not an atheist or an agnostic. For me, there was only one God to believe in. That is the God, I-Don’t-Know.

In my search, the writers that impressed me were the theologians Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Buber, and Frederick Buechner as well as the novelists Graham Greene and Fyodor Dostoevsky. All of these showed me that the spiritual path is not an easy road.

So today I would like to honor Frederick Buechner and thank him for his insight. Both his essays and his novels have been enlightening. If you would like to know more about him, here’s a link to his website.

4 thoughts on “Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Frederick Buechner

  1. I have always enjoyed his works, and am also fascinated by the question of how to live a truly spiritual life. For me, the questions are never really answered, but that’s okay…because the questions are enough all by themselves.

    • I think a lot of us don’t have answers. But we step forward through the darkness in hopes that there is light at the end. We do the best we know how. One thing is for sure. I don’t trust those who offer easy answers or wear their religion on their sleeve for all to see. There are some things that should be sacred and kept in that part of ourselves that is sacred. Then we only share them with those we can trust. The great thing about Buechner is that he understands this.

  2. Years ago, Bill Moyers produced a series of interviews with Joseph Campbell. For those who do not know Joseph Campbell, he was writer and lecturer on comparative mythology and comparative religion. The man knows his stuff.

    At one point in the interview, Moyers asked Campbell, a man who had studied and dabbled in just about every religion on earth, what was his most spiritual experience?

    Campbell replied to the effect, it was on the track at Columbia, running the 100 yard dash. A perfect blending of body, mind and spirit.

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