Acts

Acts

by Larry Woiwode
     
 

Larry Woiwode has been called "a prodigiously gifted stylist" (The New Republic) who can "wring your heart" (The Boston Globe) with his talent for evoking in language "pure, cleanly wrought beauty until it is made to seem both universal and extraordinary" (The Atlantic Monthly). Here Woiwode turns to the book of Acts, the generational history of the early Christians,… See more details below

Overview

Larry Woiwode has been called "a prodigiously gifted stylist" (The New Republic) who can "wring your heart" (The Boston Globe) with his talent for evoking in language "pure, cleanly wrought beauty until it is made to seem both universal and extraordinary" (The Atlantic Monthly). Here Woiwode turns to the book of Acts, the generational history of the early Christians, and finds it a suitable framework within which to share his thoughts on storywriting, Christianity, the deleterious impact of culture upon the contemporary church, and the church's inability to clearly define itself or respond effectively to cultural attacks. Woiwode takes us through the narrative journey of the book of Acts, analyzing each event with a writer's sensibility. He establishes a clear-eyed view of the true basis and purpose of Christianity, and points out how today's Church seems to be drifting farther and farther from those origins. Fresh and compelling, filled with revelations of Woiwode's own spiritual journey, Acts will absorb and enlighten anyone who has savored this master writer's fictional work.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this affecting if occasionally inaccessible book, noted novelist Woiwode ( Indian Affairs ) uses Acts, ``the most overtly narrative book of the New Testament,'' to frame his meditations on his work and faith. Once an ``agnostic humanist, a hedonist roarer,'' later a writer with critical success and money but no peace, Woiwode began a spiritual odyssey that led him to settle with his family on a farm in North Dakota. His growing religious passion lost him some friends but helped him see his writing as Christian service. A critic of the organized church with some conservative impulses, Woiwode argues that it is ``inadvisable'' for churches to send money overseas if local members are in need. As ``a fairly representative modern,'' he suggests people should ``wrestle'' with Scripture, not ``exclude passages that disagree with personal views.'' Woiwode is an adroit writer, but, though he claims to be addressing ``the needs of the student I once was,'' his account may be too intricate for the uninitiated. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Teacher and fiction writer Woiwode ( Born Brothers , LJ 8/88) journeys between his own intense faith experiences and that of the earliest Christian communities in ten essays on the New Testament book attributed to Luke. He asserts the faith of historical Christianity over humanist values in a secular culture. At times, this work reads like a seminary lecture on scripture, at others like a modern sermon, and still others like the poetry of a spiritual conversation. The tone is personal, with images from the Bible expressed in modern terms. The author says, ``I have tried to address the needs of the student I once was.'' He describes his journey from youthful Catholicism to hedonism, earnest searching of the scriptures for truth, and, finally, his current espousal of Calvinist-inspired faith. Readers will find this book most valuable for its contemporary reflections; for detailed interpretations of the Book of Acts, they should turn to the many scholarly commentaries available. Recommended for its literary value and for collections on Christianity in literature.-- Anna Donnelly, St. John's Univ. Lib., N.Y.
John Mort
Woiwode has developed a large following with his fiction ("Indian Affairs" ), but not many will stay with him in this meditation on the Acts of the Apostles, at least not when he goes verse by verse. His method is his point, however, since he feels that endless commentary has removed us from direct study of Scripture, and it is only through Scripture that we can remain closely connected to Christ. As he says, "the church should not . . . dig for its truth through the fragmented scraps that remain after the deconstructionists have detonated in rage the Christian monolith." Acts is Woiwode's favorite book because through our acts we are defined; we are apostles or we are not. Woiwode seems to identify closely with Saul, the persecutor of Christians who had to be struck blind to see, but whose missionary zeal changed the world. Perhaps Saul's path parallels Woiwode's; much of his spiritual progression comes through here, as well as his reverent relationship to western North Dakota, the only area in the U.S., he feels, that hasn't been "tainted by the East or Hollywood." Woiwode's commentary on Updike, another Christian writer though hardly ever thought of as such, is interesting, and "Acts" may gain Woiwode some Christian readers. An absorbing, thoughtful book, but clearly not for everyone.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060694043
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/1993
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
240

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