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Jeffrey Munroe

 Author, Poet, Editor, & Speaker

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Jeffrey Munroe is the author of Telling Stories in the Dark: Finding healing and hope in sharing our sadness, grief, trauma, and pain (Reformed Journal Books, 2024) and Reading Buechner (IVP, 2019). He is the editor of The Reformed Journal and an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America.


Millions of us live with sorrow, grief and trauma. Jeffrey Munroe and a national array of experts explore true stories of resiliency and hope as people transform their pain and find fresh inspiration.

Jeff Munroe’s "Telling Stories in the Dark" takes very seriously Frederick Buechner’s dictum to reflect on our “stewardship of pain.” With grace and truth, he narrates his own story and the stories of others to ponder suffering and a faithful response to it.

—Jennifer L. Holberg, author of Nourishing Narratives and Co-Director of Calvin University’s Center for Faith & Writing

Jeff Munroe avoids the quicksand of theodicy to focus instead on the stories of people whose faith has survived great suffering, which he tells with warmth, generosity, and compassion.

—Christian Wiman, author of My Bright Abyss: Meditations of a Modern Believer. Professor of the Practice of Religion and Literature, Yale Divinity School

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Thoughtful, engaging, comprehensive, from an author who knows the Buechner corpus and is thoroughly competent to wrestle with the theological and spiritual questions Buechner raises. Munroe also analyzes Buechner’s literary prowess and situates his work in the historical context of the 20th century and in Buechner’s own tragic-comic life from his father’s suicide onward. Reading Buechner succeeds because it communicates the integrity of Buechner’s life and work, by which I mean the way that it holds together with the coherence and complexity of a human life. READ MORE.

Munroe’s book offers an introduction to Buechner’s life and work. It’s the perfect introduction to pique your interest and give you the foundation for reading more on your own.


I often go through seasons of reading, where I focus a significant amount of my energy into reading a single author. It’s too early to tell, but it feels like Buechner might be my next author. Munroe deserves a big part of the credit. LISTEN HERE.

Reading Buechner offers a lively, insightful overview of Buechner's life and work. It also models the kind of engaged reading that completes and amplifies the work of a worthy writer. Drawing on a range of others' observations, Munroe's own reflections come from long, deep, intelligent reading fueled by delight and informed by theological training and faith. For those new to Buechner, this book offers an enticing introduction. It also invites longtime fans to return to Buechner's work with reawakened appreciation for the rich, life-giving legacy of a man for whom imagination has been a vital dimension of the life of faith."

Russell Moore,

Chase Replogle,

Marilyn McEntyre,



 Reading Buechner

Why Poetry Matters

Exploring the Works of Frederick Buechner

Telling Stories in the Dark

Some People Are Just Worth Quoting More Often Than Others: A Conversation About Fredrick Buechner

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Featured Works


"A Protestant writer professes to a serious case of Catholic envy"

Essay, US Catholic

I dislike the word “Protestant.” It is a declaration that you are defining yourself in opposition or protest to something else. Yes, Martin Luther and the other Reformers had valid points. No one disputes that. However, the problems that drove Luther to nail his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg were addressed and resolved centuries ago. The “protest” in Protestant is long, long over.

Or is it? Protestants these days don’t protest against the Catholic Church. They fight each other. Once you open the door to division and schism in the quest for religious purity, you never stop. Protestant churches keep dividing themselves.

Image by Roman Kraft

"Imagine the Dexterity of God"

 Poem, The Christian Century

Four generations assemble for a picture: a baby, his mother, grandfather, great-
grandfather, and what none of them notice is the other picture of four generations on the
wall just behind them. The almost-ninety-year-old man in today’s picture is the baby in
the other picture, being held by his father, while his grandmother and wizened great-
grandfather look on. That kindly old gentleman fought against Lee at Gettysburg, took a
rebel bullet in the shoulder outside Antietam, and was there at the end near Appomattox.
I see all these generations at once and don’t know what time is. All I know are clichés:
time runs out and marches on and stands still and flies by. We buy it and spend it and
save it. And time will tell...

Image by Xianyu hao

"An introduction to the brave, joyful, and prolific work of

Brian Doyle"

Essay, US Catholic

To my lasting regret, my eyes once locked with Brian Doyle’s and I didn’t speak to him. It was November 2015, and he was standing alone, available for conversation, having just given the annual lecture for Christian Century magazine. I nodded a “Thanks” and he nodded a “You’re welcome” and I shuffled along.

At that point I had read a grand total of one Brian Doyle poem, so I didn’t want to insult him with my ignorance of his life and work. “Why didn’t you say something about the lecture he’d just given?” you rightly ask. For the better part of an hour he had laughed, cried, roared, sang, wept, whispered, and raged. He’d opened his heart and I had no idea what to do with this precious and vulnerable gift other than mumble, “Thanks.”

Image by Sharon McCutcheon


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