Monday, February 17, 2014

what I'm reading - Paul: a novel

Here's a melancholy little quote that I can relate to all too well - as can anyone, I guess, who has struggled long with suffering or sin:
When the church was young, I thought of your kingdom as a garden, rich and sweet and green, fruit for the eating, grasses for running swift as gazelles, a golden air for breathing and shouting and laughing. Now I think of the kingdom as a couch in the darkness, a bed to rest on, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears. It used to be I thought that things would start in heaven. Now I only hope that things will end.
These words are spoken by Barnabas, from Paul: a novel by Walter Wangerin Jr.

I just finished this lovely, lengthy read, a retelling of the life of - you guessed it! - Paul the apostle. Walter Wangerin is a skilled writer, and he gives the people, conflict and times of the early church life and colour.

Paul is written in the first person, as a range of individuals - Priscilla, Barnabas, James, Seneca - give their impressions of Paul and tell his story. It's not a perfect book - there are some theological oddities - but what a wonderful characterization of Paul!

A recommended read.

Quote is from Walter Wangerin, Paul, 296.


Dave Macca said...

Hi Jean, I read this guy's book called Letters from the Land of Cancer. He was so sick that I thought he may have died, and I had to google to find out if he was still with us. No doubt this adds pathos to how he writes. Blessings, Dave

Jean said...

Thanks, Dave, I didn't know that. All I know is that he's a respected writer, and this is the first of his books that I've read.