Theater: A Proper God

Gideon (by Paddy Chayefsky) explores the relationship of an ordinary man to God. There could scarcely be a larger theme. It demands great powers of eloquence and intellect, a burning air of exaltation that Playwright Chayefsky does not fully command. But he does possess high gifts of humor, characterization, and a sense of the dominion and perplexity of faith, and these help make his play a lustrous and compelling experience.

The play is drawn from three chapters in the Book of Judges. The Israelites are in the toils of a false god, Baal, and harsh enemies, the Midianites. The Angel of the...

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