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This Earthly Pilgrimage: Tales and Observations on the Way [Hardcover]

By Walter Wangerin Jr. (Author)
Our Price $ 21.24  
Retail Value $ 24.99  
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Item Number 55363  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   640
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.54" Width: 5.86" Height: 1.92"
Weight:   1.86 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2003
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310249708  
EAN  9780310249702  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Ragman and Other Cries of Faith, Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? and Miz Lil and the Chronicles of Grace are among Walter Wangerin Jr.'s earliest and best-loved books. Each is a multifaceted jewel containing stories, essays, parables, prayers, and meditations, all bearing the mark of Wangerin's trademark poignancy and lyricism. Yet while the books stand on their individual merits, the author originally conceived them as an interlinking set-a trio that would together weave a complex and vivid tapestry of human experience and "story theology." In This Earthly Pilgrimage, these beloved Wangerin classics come together at last, along with brand new writings, in an omnibus that lets the reader trace the tapestry's threads from their source to their completion. The interlocking stories in Ragman and Other Cries of Faith helped usher Walter Wangerin to prominence as a Christian writer. The opening chapter, "Ragman," remains one of Wangerin's most popular works and leads the reader into thirty-three other writings in a variety of styles. Ranging from the gently reflective to the incantatory, they are powerful, thought-provoking explorations of the meaning of faith, the person of Christ, the community of believers, and the individual servant of faith. Eleven new pieces make this an updated and definitive edition. The stories, essays, prayers, and poems in Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? continue the themes the author began in Ragman and Other Cries of Faith. Here are children, teenagers, adults, and parents grappling with the deep realities of life. Painting with bold brushstrokes of human emotion and using a wise and gentle humor, Wangerin probes the relationships between children and their parents and what they have to show us about God and ourselves as his children. Like Ragman, this volume includes twelve new stories, fresh from the master storyteller's pen. In Miz Lil and the Chronicles of Grace, a well-conceived unit of twelve beautifully told stories, anecdotes, and reminiscences evokes the experience of growing up American and living out a spiritual quest. Culled from Wangerin's childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and his years as an inner-city pastor, the interwoven stories lend flesh, feeling, and immediacy to themes that are vital to every Christian. With a new Afterword by the author, Miz Lil and the Chronicles of Grace unfolds the moving story of a pastor and storyteller's career and the drama of his faith.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
One of the best modern Christian story-tellers I've read.  Nov 7, 2009
In, "This Earthly Pilgrimage," Wangerin weaves together three books of his, "Ragman, and other Cries of Faith," "Little Lamb, Who Made Thee," and "Miss Lil and the Chronicles of Grace." and combines it into a chronicle of his life, his Christian practice as a believer and as a Lutheran Minister, and the many beautiful stories that come from his service to his parishioners and the many lessons they taught him. There will be a few spoilers within the rest of this review, though I will try not to give too much away.

This is no holier than thou up above the trenches view of Christianity, this view of Christianity is that from one who has rolled up his sleeves and gotten down to dig in the dirt with the rest of us. Nor is this an attempt to polish over sins and hurts that he caused other people. This is the work of a preacher who has both seen the angels minister to a dying woman through the ministrations of her sisters, to a preacher while waiting on a stormy night with a confirmation student, heard a break-in to his church, found himself yelling to a thief trying to break into his church not ever to come back again and how the child pointed out to him the horrifying ramifications of the words he had spoken in his haste and anger. This is the work of a minister who was given the most beautiful words of healing for an abuse victim in the form of a letter, and that child asked him to share that letter, so that as many abuse victims as possible could see it. They are powerful words and that letter alone justifies the purchase of this book.

Wangerin uses stories, poems, personal experiences, and all of his wit, intelligence, imperfection, and compassion to create a stunning whole of Christian life in all of its paradoxical elements of sin, redemption, just exactly who teaches who and who ministers to who, love, grief, suffering, death, and the resurrection not just in the afterlife, but in this life that the Christian body can bring to each other.

Wangerin,for the most part, uses a very conversational tone, as if he were sitting with you in your home, or telling these stories to your congregation at church. Throughout this interweaving, don't expect strictly divided stories, as if you were buying a book of short fiction, but instead consider this a woven tapestry, or even better, the Greek reference Wangerin makes in his introduction which I will not spoil for you here.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, but I especially recommend it to anyone who might be trying to discern whether they have a call to ministry, or indeed, anyone who is already undertaking seminary study. This is a very candid demonstration of his unfolding understanding and practice of what ministry means and how to practice it to the best of one's ability.

This is a great read and highly worthwhile to Christians, and those seeking a greater understanding of what it means to be a Christian and to practice the faith. For those who have trouble with, or do not care for long reads or reading a book straight through from cover to cover, you can skim through the titles to find what interests you, and work through in that manner, although you will lose some of the delicate structure that Wangerin has arranged. I am told by my parents that at some sort of synod assembly or gathering, they were lucky enough to hear Wangerin speak and tell some of his stories. I hope that I am someday able to hear him as well.

If you are looking for spiritual inspiration and a deeper understanding of your Christian practice, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

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