Frederick Buechner - The Faces of Jesus. PDF

PDF This was a quick read at only 97 pages.The author seems a bit of a romantic with some thoughtful ideas expressed in visually personal images.It is a good overview of the life of Jesus from beginning to end told in a more intimate way than a lot of books do.

This is meant to be more of a reflection on Christ than a study, more spiritual than religious. Without having read Biblical versions, it might be difficult for someone to know what is really stated in the Bible and what is the author's artistic license.There are a couple of ideas that come out that are from apocryphal books as well. I was hopeful for some of the deeper culturally significant points might come out that help explain some of the moments from His life, but not a lot of that really came out.Overall, I believe this could really speak to some people that read it.

I am glad that the author takes a moment to talk about how many Christians answer the problem of suffering and pain in this world:
...if there is the beauty of what is majestic and powerful, there is the beauty also of what is humble and powerless. Like any child, Jesus as a child has one power only and that is the power to love and be loved which is of all the powers the most powerful because it alone can conquer the human heart; at the same time it is of all the powers the most powerless, because it can do nothing except by consent. It is of the very essence of love to leave us free to respond or not to respond because the moment it attempts to force our hand, it is no longer love but coercion, and what it elicits from us is no longer love but obedience.The greatest single argument against the existence of God is the presence of evil in the world, and to the degree that the christian faith attempts to answer it, its answer is all tied up in this....If there is a God, why did he not with his great goodness make things right in the first place, or why does he not with his great power intervene in the affairs of the world to make things right at least in the second place, now? ... God could presumably do these things — could have turned us out perfectly as an inventor turns out a perfect invention or could step in when we get out of line and move us around like pawns on a chessboard.But as Christianity understands it, God does not want us related to him as an invention to an inventor or pawns to a cosmic kibitzer. ...He wants us in other words to love him, and if our love is to be spontaneous and real, we must be free also not to love him with all its grim consequences of human suffering.Evil exists in the world not because God is indifferent or powerless or absent but because man is free, and free he must be if he is to love freely, free he must be if he is to be human.

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