Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
My favorite Book of the year
I am not usually one for poetry, or long rambling sentences, and this book certainly has both, but in this case, the ideas are so deep that it works. It adds to the topic rather than distracting.
This is the best book that I have read all year. I didn't want it to end, and so I put it down and waited for months (Stupid I know) I have a new appreciation for creation, I am seriously convinced that the world is made up of Quarks and Leptons and that those bits are the spoken Word of God.
I also fully believe that "He [God] is the rock He can't lift. He is the Infinite struggling to capture Himself, to reveal every faced of His Infinite Self in the limitations of tiny space" (188) and I also believe that if you want to love God, then He has begun a great change in you.
This book deserves a longer review, but I cannot possibly pick out my favorite quotes, or even favorite chapters, and so I will just say - read this. You will be glad you did.
December 14, 2011
Somehow Wilson manages to look at the existence of God, the nature of good and evil, the reality of hell, and other such "light" topics in a poetic, sarcastic, highly unusual, dizzying, and sometimes provocative way. I really do feel like I am spinning a bit after stepping off a carnival ride... This reads like a stream-of-consciousness rambling from a poet who loves science and philosophy but loves God more. And I loved it!My only objection would be that, although I loved the artistic way he wrote about it, I would have liked to see him more clearly explain that the evil and brokenness in this "beautiful but badly broken" world was not the way God intended His creation to be - the sin of humanity shattered the original beauty. He does allude to this in many ways, but never really says that outright.This book was worth the read just for his chapter on hell. His description and explanation of the reality of hell was the most thought-provoking and beautifully stated I have ever read. It is a beautiful bookend to the way Wilson begins the wild ride through this book - he pictures this world as a carnival with "darkness lurking in the corners," and where we are all "carnies" along for the ride. He stitches this thought together with this wonderful statement:"Would you go to heaven? There is a sign you must stand beside where the man with the cigarette takes the tickets. There is a height you must achieve.You must be wretched. That is your ticket and your only qualification. It is an unexclusive ride, but wild, with weather you've never seen, and deafening light." (page 180)I loved this dizzing trip as I tried desperately to keep up with Wilson's train of thought. It left me with a profound sense of my smallness - and at the same time a reminder of the great security we have when we come in our wretchedness to the Maker and Sustainer of our souls.So, if you're in for a wild ride... this is worth a read.
June 23, 2010
N.D. Wilson has done a good thing with his book, Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl he argues for a creator and then he argues that creation is good, a notion lost to many evangelicals today.At times, Wilson examines the whole of the world from the subatomic level quarks, leptons and other tiny things that you cannot see but do exist.At other times, he just seems to get caught up in the joy of living in a world over which God pronounced, It is good. But the part I appreciated the most was that he avoided veering into the kind of hard scientific apologetics that evangelicals have gotten very good at doing very badly ultimately, thats not his point. The book is both a superb if unintentional argument for general revelation, as well as for another idea, that you should enjoy what God has created.The writing in Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl is kind of like being on a tilt-a-whirl, and Im not sure how many folks it will suit. I liked it; Im not sure everyone else will. Its not irreverent, but I suspect some people will think it so; at one point Wilson comments that Jesus transformed water into wine, and later the wine into urine. Should we deny it?, he asks.N.D. Wilsons Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl is a good and even fun to read book. Its not the most remarkable thing Ive ever read, but I recommend it to those who like to read books that can be described as both sound and trippy.
October 23, 2009
A refreshing christian perspective on our physical 'world' in all its magnificence.Just as some carnival rides are not recommended for those with weak hearts, this book should also carry a disclaimer. The pace is quick, the references wide reaching and very well researched but there may be some who cannot bear the jolts and jerks. As for me, I loved it.Preparing for this review, I rediscovered the definitions in the title of N. D. Wilson's "Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World".Wide-Eyed: meaning with the eyes open wide, as in amazement, innocence, or sleeplessnessWonder: the emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admirationThere are times when one needs to search out something one has know or grown accustomed to just to rediscover it. This book is quite appropriately named.In short, I would tag this book as C. S. Lewis on steroids. Written in bursts that provoke deep thoughts, each chapter is filled with short takes of the writers life with scientific observations on the world that may have stopping to catch your breathe. Be prepared to reread sections, first perhaps for clarity and at times to soak in the doctrine that lies beneath.If you are a careful reader (meaning you must research statements before taking them as your own), you will find yourself searching out many of the statements made. This added to my enjoyment of a book in that it sparked my interests on other topics beside the main theme of the book itself.From a span of the 'philosophers' to the magic of 'quantum physics', you will certainly not be bored and you just might view this 'world' in a very different way. I will accept the idea that N. D. Wilson suggests .. that this life and this world is God's novel and I have been written in.Keiki HendrixVessel Project Book Reviewer
October 2, 2009