Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Gospel in George MacDonald

The Gospel in George MacDonald is a beautiful collection of works from George MacDonald’s many novels, fairy tales, and spiritual writings, This compilation was edited by Marianne Wright. These specific selections were dedicated to Marianne’s grandfather. Marianne’s grandfather was a devoted fan of George MacDonald (but never met him or knew him).  Wright’s collection of MacDonald’s works brings together some of the most profound and lasting selections from his long career. Ms. Wright’s goal, in publishing this book, was to bring together passages from MacDonald’s writings “that best illuminate the good news of Jesus, which was the constant theme and the joy of his life.”

George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of fantasy literature and had great influence on many of well known authors including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and G.K. Chesterton. Mr. MacDonald dedicated his life to spreading the gospel and used his love of writing to accomplish this goal. He once said, “People find great fault with me – that I turn my stories into sermons. They forget that I have a Master to serve before I can wait upon the public.”

Mr. MacDonald lived a life of suffering. He dealt with many lung problems most of his life. English winters were hard and several of his children died from tuberculosis. In order to provide a healthier environment for his family, George moved them to Italy where he lived for twenty years. During this time, he wrote over twenty two books. A short while later, MacDonald and his family moved to England. George and his wife, Louisa, celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary and the following year, his wife died. After his wife’s death, MacDonald rarely spoke but spent his days longing for the next life.

George MacDonald had a beautiful and clear understanding of the gospel of Christ. It impacted him so profoundly he felt the need to share his faith daily. Besides his personal faith in God, frequent themes found in his writing include discipleship, and conscience. He firmly believed God uses events of each day to teach and lead his followers. He called it “the holy present.”

I found this collection of his works intriguing. Even though I attended seminary and have a degree in Christian ministry, I had not heard of George MacDonald before reading this book. G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis helped bring the works of MacDonald the recognition he so well deserved. Without their influence, perhaps his works would still be unknown to many today.

I particularly enjoyed reading an excerpt from his novel Lilith. George MacDonald’s brilliant use of imagery allowed me to feel as if I were standing in the midst of the dense forest searching my soul.

I would recommend this collection of works to anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of George MacDonald’s Christian worldview. Although he is not as well-known as C. S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien, his works paved the way for them and gave them freedom to delve into the same type of writing.

I would like to thank Plough Publishing for giving me an opportunity to review this book. I was not encouraged to give a positive review however it is my pleasure to do so.

Follow this link to purchase The Gospel in George MacDonald

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