The Long Road Home and Other Short Stories from the Silences in the Gospel of Mark:

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9781620324004: The Long Road Home and Other Short Stories from the Silences in the Gospel of Mark:

Borrowing from the ancient rabbinic use of midrash as a means of opening Scripture to students, James Lowry has chosen six texts from among those in which he believes Mark deliberately left silences. The author is convinced Mark hoped his readers would be encouraged to raise a variety of possibilities as to what the evangelist left unsaid. Beginning with Mark choosing not to name the temptations of Jesus (Mark 1:12-13) and concluding with Mark choosing to conclude his narrative with the women leaving the tomb of Jesus in stunned silence (Mark 16:8), Lowry spins short stories that suggest several alternative ideas as to how the biblical narrative might have played. In half of the tales, Lowry enters the text and adds fictitious material to Mark's narrative. In the other half, his stories are set in the small textile town of Great Falls, South Carolina, where the author grew up in the 1950s. The hope is these stories will encourage readers of Mark and groups of his readers to raise other possibilities.

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About the Author:

James S. Lowry is a retired pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). His last installed pastorate was the Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. He lives with his wife, Martha Nichols, on a small farm near Great Falls, South Carolina. His previous books include Low-Back, Ladder-Back, Cane-Bottom Chair: Biblical Meditations (1999), and Prayers for the Lord's Day: Hope for the Exiles (2002).

Review:

Two extraordinary talents intersect in the pages of this unique volume--that of an insightful biblical scholar and that of a consummate storyteller. Jim Lowry's narrative imagination wanders in the same territory as Garrison Keillor and Fred Craddock to fill in the pregnant gaps in the Second Gospel with tales faithful to Mark and as down-to-earth as Great Falls, South Carolina.
--Michael L. Lindvall, Senior Minister, Brick Presbyterian Church, New York

Jim Lowry, an exceptionally fine preacher, has plunged into the silences of the Gospel of Mark, has listened carefully for what the silences have to say, and has reemerged to tell us what he heard. Drawing on traditions of interpretation, his years as a pastor, and front-porch storytelling, Lowry hears in the silences gospel-filled stories about biblical characters and eccentric folk in his hometown. Take the plunge with him, listen, and be amazed!
--Erskine Clarke, Publisher, Journal for Preachers

Deep inside the heart and soul of Jim Lowry--a writer, pastor-scholar, Southerner, and Christian--there's a searingly captivating story. That story--Jim's story, our story, the story--speaks to you in these pages. It dwells within characters from around the world and back and forth through time, some of whom could live across the street. I promise that in this book you will make new friends, and one of them may be a new side of yourself.
--Theodore J. Wardlaw, President, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary --Wipf and Stock Publishers

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