Sunday, March 24, 2013

One about books

I have finished Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl, by ND Wilson. Wow is about all I can say. It’s such an extraordinary book. Truly. The writing style is like nothing I have ever read before and is laugh-out-loud crazy in places.

What I most loved about this book is how it restored my wonder in how completely amazing this world is, and my confidence in what a marvel it was for God to create it how it is (Wilson might be a young-earth believer, but you don’t have to be to appreciate this aspect of the book – and that is not a hill I am even going to faint on). It also restored my wonder in the incarnation, the actual reality of it, and all that it meant for Christ to enter into this world. I find myself picking up some yarn to do crochet and thinking that I could be using wool from a sheep descended from a sheep that heard the angels singing on that night of wonders long ago in Bethlehem. You never know.

There are also some compelling arguments in the book on such things as the problem of evil. I particularly liked his discussion, and dismissal, of the argument that evil is a by-product of “freedom”. Wilson called this book Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl, inspired by Doestoevsky’s Notes from Underground (another good reason to read this book is for all the references to literature and philosophy). Yes, Doestoevsky. I was reading on in The Brothers Karamazov yesterday, and Ivan Karamazov needs to read Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl, because I had to read through his ranting monologue in which he imagines a scene featuring The Grand Inquisitor railing at Jesus, if he came back for a visit in the 15th Century, about the hideous consequences of such “freedom”. One paragraph of this difficult speech from Ivan goes for ten whole pages. Wilson could have answered him, with something sizzling.

Already I want to read Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl again, because my first go was a little interrupted and spasmodic and there are layers in it. Read this book to open your eyes and bend your mind and refresh your soul.

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