What I’m Reading (and Watching): Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl

How do you describe N.D. Wilson’s Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl? I think of it as apologetics by art. Wilson is an excellent writer and he skilfully weaves philosophy with wonder, as he creatively makes a case for God. It’s apologetics or philosophy in one sense, but he’s not arguing, he’s painting. His musings take us through the fields of creation, good and evil, beauty, hell, death and resurrection, and insects. Lots of insects. Justin Taylor called this book “a poetically subversive piece of work against idolatry and for the gospel.”

Wilson states in the preface, “this book attempts to find unity in cacophony. The barrage of elements (philosophy, poetry, theology, narrative, ad nauseam) may at times feel random. It isn’t. It is intended to be symphonic: dissimilar voices and instruments moving from dissonance to harmony. The emotional spectrum (anger, love, happiness, grief) is meant to be as broad as the material covered. It seeks the same unity.”

This was one of my favourite books I read this year. It probably isn’t for everyone, but as someone who loves theology and philosophy as well as literature and creativity, it was a perfect marriage.

To top it off, the book was recently made into a short film. Here’s the description:

An Idea Film. A Bookumentary.
A cinematic treatment of a worldview. A poet live in concert. A motion picture sermon. VH1 Storytellers meets Planet Earth. 60 Minutes meets Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. In this unusual but fascinating film sequence, best-selling author N.D. Wilson gives an emotional and intellectual tour of life in this world and the final chapter that is death. Everything before and after and in between is a series of miracles—some of which are encouraging, others disturbing and uncomfortable.

You can buy or rent the film on itunes. Below is the trailer.