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Book Review: “Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl” by N.D. Wilson

March 17, 2011

It’s hard to classify Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson. I suppose it’s a Stream of Consciousness/Creative Writing reflection on God, His Sovereignty, Hell and the meaning of life. The entire book is good, but it really gets good in the second half.

The book is a full-frontal assault on dualistic, gnostic, soft and fluffy, cheap forms of Christianity and is an honest and thoughtful look at God in all his holiness and glory, creation in all it’s craziness and beauty and hope for the afterlife stripped of all it’s petty sentimentality.

I think the best way to recommend this book, and I most certainly do, is to give you a taste. So here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“When one of my characters dies – no matter what other character pulls the trigger, no matter what guilt is incurred by others in the story – on the transcendent level, the level outside the cloth cover and dust jacket, I am the one who kills them.”

“Is it strange to you that an accident would invent baseball and walruses and Englishmen? If an observer had watched the birth of an ever expanding universe from the womb of a fireball, was he surprised when the explosion invented llamas? Tell me the story of the great god Boom. Tell me how he accidentally made llamas from hydrogen.”

“Why do Christians think of purity, holiness, and even divinity as something with big eyes and soft fur? Why do we so often ignore the beautiful in exchange for the cute?”

“Heaven will be wonderful (understatement). It will be more wonderful than we can imagine, even if our imaginations weren’t so stunted by marshmallow visions. You will have a body more physical than this one. Heaven will be hard and bright, and the winds will be strong. You will have the body and the eyes and the purified, well-aged soul to bear it. We will remake it with blistered hands.”

“The world is rated R, and no one is checking ID’s. Do not try to make it G by imagining the shadows away. Do not try to hide your children from the world forever, but do not pretend there is no danger. Train them. Give them sharp eyes and bellies full of laughter. Make them dangerous. Make them yeast, and when they’ve grown, they will pollute the shadows.”

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