In News to Me: Gospel Stories for the Real World, Lawrence Wood brings together insights from Scripture with his own observations of the "real world" to create thirty-two moving reflections on the Christian life. Drawing from the wells of history, the lives of famous and not-so-famous people, and his own observations of popular culture, Wood combines Scripture with experience to offer a captivating view of the Gospels at work.
Lawrence Wood is senior pastor at First Congregational Church of Darien in Darien, Connecticut. He previously served for several years as a pastor in Michigan. He is the author of One Hundred Tons of Ice and Other Gospel Stories and occasional pieces for The Christian Century.
In this collection of idiosyncratic and variegated perspectives on contemporary Christian faith, Wood blends narrative and homily to illuminate the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary life. The author of a previous book of meditations (One Hundred Tons of Ice and Other Gospel Stories) and an ordained minister, Wood has a keen sense of the evocative anecdote and a spare way of telling a story that allows his readers to draw their own conclusions. As in his previous collection, many of the subjects of his narrative reflections, from the 18th-century composer Georg Friedrich Handel to 20th-century con artist Walter Scott, are quite oddnot unlike characters out of a Flannery O'Connor story. Not afraid to apply the same gentle but probing lens to his own life and calling, Wood has an unusual talent for being incisive without being offensive. Pairing his well-told tales with meditations on a parable, a psalm or an episode from Jesus's life, Wood nimbly tackles subjects like the mystery of grace, vocation or suffering. As is probably inevitable in a collection of 32 tales, some are more insightful and compelling than others. But more often than not, Wood accomplishes what every Christian raconteur hopes to achieve: finding fresh and provocative ways to tell an ancient story. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.