The Gospel as Fairy Tale

“You give us so much hope!” said the elderly lady after today’s sermon.  I replied, “Then I must have been preaching Gospel.”  I admit when I first saw the title to Frederick Buechner’s book, Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy & Fairy Tale, my initial thoughts were negative.  However, as I read the work I realized that each of these dramatic styles do indeed have something profound to contribute to our understanding of the Good News of Jesus.

I especially have been looking forward to today’s sermon.  Sometime ago C. S. Lewis helped me understand that Fantasy communicates truth about the unseen realities that make it easier to grasp and understand.  I wonder if the Apocalyptic literature of the Old and New Testaments were written for a similar purpose?  That was why I eagerly grabbed onto Revelation 2:17 as my sermon text.  To seek a literal meaning for the verse obscures it’s ability to communicate.  The truth of the Gospel is that it is too good NOT to be true!

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


One Response to “The Gospel as Fairy Tale”

  1. Byron, I have seriously enjoying this sermon series. Seeing the Gospels through only tunnel-vision limits our perspectives, I think. As I youngster I never had any emotional connection to the teaching of Jesus, (except fear) even though I was full of emotion and the world I dealt with was also full of emotion. Without that desperately needed emotional connection, whether it is tragedy or comedy, there can only simply be disconnection, which is heart breaking to even think about.

    As God has matured my faith I’ve been seeing things with different eyes. Everything plays a role and nothing can be afforded the blessedness of temporal ignorance. For this, Fairy Tale is an interesting concept. I think sometimes we get to literal with scripture. Evidence can be seen in the very popular Left Behind series or even sadly our own Church history…

    There is a message being communicated. I'm curious if that message could actually survive thousands of years as being told only as a literal rule book? Or do stories have a better chance surviving the ages of time?


    It's difficult for me, now, to imagine the Spirit as a person who slaps you with definite conclusions. Rather, I'm seeing a “gentlemen” Spirit who tells me stories, hoping that the message eventually sinks in, patient, understanding, loving, peaceful… ideally personifying everything that we know to be the fruit. Is it easier to see things in shades of black and white, as definites and literals? I think so. But should the gospel be so rigidly simple?

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