Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.99
  • Save: $1.25 (9%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Wishful Thinking: A Seeke... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: GOOD CONDITION - contains no markings, edges display light/average wear, binding edge is free of creases. No Worries Return Policy
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC Paperback – September 24, 1993


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.74
$5.16 $0.01

Set Apart
Looking for Women's Bible study material?
Check out Set Apart and other Bible study reference material. Learn more | See more
$12.74 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC + Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary + Peculiar Treasures
Price for all three: $36.15

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A kind of "mongrel litter" by way of Pascal, Voltaire, and Ambrose Bierce, this theological run through the alphabet goes from Abraham and Agnostic straight through to YWHW and Zaccheus--the tax collector who shimmied up the tree on Palm Sunday to get a good look at Jesus. In between we get a heady brew of humor and wisdom. On Anger, for example, Buechner writes: "Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun.... In many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you." Or this, on wine: "Unfermented grape juice is a bland and pleasant drink ... [but] it is a ghastly symbol of the life blood of Jesus Christ, especially when served in individual antiseptic, thimble-sized glasses. Wine is booze, which means it is dangerous and drunk-making. It makes the timid brave and the reserved amorous. It loosens the tongue and breaks the ice especially when served in a loving cup. It kills germs. As symbols go, it is a rather splendid one."

And the book's title? Find it under "W": "Christianity is mainly wishful thinking.... Sometimes wishing is the wings the truth comes on. Sometimes the truth is what sets us wishing for it." --Doug Thorpe

Review

“An artist is at work here...a wit with wisdom.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Thoughtful, spirited, entertaining.” (Chicago Tribune)
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Rev Exp edition (September 24, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060611391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060611392
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frederick Buechner (pronounced BEEK-ner) is an American writer and theologian. He is the author of thirty-six published books and has been an important source of inspiration and learning for many readers. His work encompasses many genres, including fiction, autobiography, essays, sermons, and other nonfiction. Buechner's writing has often been praised for its ability to inspire readers to see the grace in their daily lives.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By J. T. Nite on August 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is ostensibly a dictionary of terms related to religion and faith. In reality, it's a collection of Buechner's thoughts on these issues. Some of his "definitions" are a page long, some a paragraph, some just a sentence. They all manage to capture the essence of an idea and make you look at it in sometimes startling new ways. Take, for example, his definition for Lust: "Lust is the desire for salt from someone who is dying of thirst." Or Gluttony: "A glutton is someone who raids the icebox to try to cure spiritual malnutrition."
And that's just the short form. When Buechner lets his thoughts wander, the book goes from amusing to engaging and engrossing. It's like having an amusing conversation with a delightful person, who just happens to have a lot more insight into religion than you do.
I won't say this book changed my life, though I'm tempted. It did expand my perceptions, showed me alternate ways of looking at familiar things, and restored my sense of wonder in my (Christian) faith and in the world around me.
I heartily recommend it to any "Seeker" of any faith.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By The Sanity Inspector on November 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
These warm but decidedly non-treacly theological mini-essays are just wonderful. I've never made any headway with Buechner's fiction, but this book reveals him as a superb aphorist. These essays were written to blow the dust off of shopworn religious words, to enable the reader to get at the great Christian themes afresh. They succeed--each essay is a pearl of homey wisdom and quiet wonder, soaked in tenderness and sensitivity and gentle humor. What's more amazing was that they were written at the close of the Sixties, during the Jesus Freak thing, yet very little residue of that era clings to them. They are darn near timeless.
This first of three volumes of theological essays is the best, but the other two, _Whistling in the Dark_, and _Peculiar Treasures: A Biblical Who's Who_, are also well worth dipping into. Readers who have enjoyed these collections of aphorisms better than Buechner's fiction and other long form writing would probably enjoy _Listening to Your Life : Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner_, which is a sampler of all his work.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Matthew T. Phillips on June 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Buechner's Wishful Thinking provides thought-provoking ideas for well-read scholars, but is certainly accessible to anyone who is not afraid to think critically about matters of faith. It is a great resource for teachers and group leaders who want to get people talking, and it provides a useful challenge to typical opinions when discussion has reached a stalemate.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
There are few books I can say I've read twice and probably none I've read 3 times. I've read this book at least 10 times, not always straight through, but in its entirety. Buechner is thoughtful, poignant, and funny. If this book doesn't make you reflect on life and religion, you need help. I carry with me quotes like, "reading the bible as literature is like reading Moby Dick as a whaling manual" or "an agnostic is someone who's not quite sure about the existence of God; that is, some of us all of the time and all of us some of the time. Doubt is the ants in the pants of religion." Buy this book now!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Wishful Thinking" is Fredrick Buechner's lexicon of some "churchy" words that need some life breathed into them. Words like "faith", "grace", and even "religion" are examined, with entries ranging from a sentence to several pages.
Buechner's unorthodox style and unique point-of-view are what carry this book. Sometimes offensive, sometimes controvesial, the entries always seem to leave you wanting to ponder the meaning for a while. I have used quotes of this book constantly for leading devotions or Bible studies; they always seem to evoke a positive response. This book is one to read and keep forever.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is definitely one of my favorites. It isn't the kind you sit down and read cover to cover, although you could of course. I occasionally pick it up and read a definition or two and then need some time to digest it, because that is what I believe the author intends for you to do. His use of language is rich and I am left longing for more food for thought. Truly a treasure.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Johnson VINE VOICE on February 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is so much fun. Buechner writes so well and thinks so clearly. It's a kind of iconoclastic dictionary. He invites us to look at words, concepts and articles of faith differently and to shatter the platitudes-all by giving short definitions of the terms we use every day as people of faith.

I've found it especially useful when writing or preparing sermons as a way to get out of the box and see a text or a concept differently with a twist. Essential for the thinking preacher
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By xdlcx@msn.com on December 24, 1997
Format: Paperback
The best way to describe Frederick Buechner's Wishful Thinking is to say that it is a dictionary of thought. The book can be read through from cover to cover but this reader thinks the best way to read the book is to randomly open the pages and start reading. It begins with Abraham and immediately takes you to a discourse on Faith beginning on page 29. The book ends with Zacchaeus. In the author's own words "The fact that his name begins with Z is only one reason why Zacchaeus makes a good place to stop." This book is full of wisdom and has application in all of our lives.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC
This item: Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC
Price: $12.74
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?