Monday, June 23, 2008

George Mac Donald

When I was but a young Christian, someone gave me a book by a Scottish author named George Mac Donald. I learned that this man was at his time a very popular author, but formerly was the minister at a local parish. He was eventually cast out of the church for his controversial views, the chief accusation being he was a universalist (someone who believes that God's love will win all of humanity to Him in the end, and that through suffering, pain, or the struggles of hell and purgatory, that God will in the end cause all of us to accept His love, and eternity with it) Some would say this was an unfair accusation, but as I read his works, I can understand why it was put forth.

C S Lewis considered George Mac Donald to be his mentor, calling him his master in print. He also said, "I have never written a book that I did not within quote George Mac Donald" and in his story The Great Divorce, Lewis' beloved Scott serves as a guide. Indeed it was George's works for children that first awoke in Lewis the belief and desire for God.

In my youth these novels, which are basically Victorian romances, had a very profound effect on me. The themes that captured my attention, and helped build my foundation were these:

Doubt is not to be feared, but embraced as a call for us to grow deeper in our love for God

We do not grow closer to God by trying to understand, and believe, but by beginning first to do. It is in the actions of following Christ that true faith grows, not in our intellectual assent.

God's love is complete, and perfect, and will not stop from calling all of humanity. Whether sinner or saint, God's love continues to be pourerd out, and that God will stop at nothing, to draw others to be safe in His kingdom.

After 20 years of ministry, and 24 years of faith, his books still cause me to want to be more like Jesus, to be more committed to the kingdom, and to set my heart to be abandoned to God's love all the more. As I have almost finished rereading all of the novels I read as a twenty year old, I have realized that after all of my learning, and studying, all of my theology and practice, it comes back to a very simple proposition. Jesus, the personification of God's love, calls us to follow Him, and through that following we find the Father of all creation.

If you have not read George Mac Donald I highly recommend doing so, you may find his work a bit cheesy, and a bit preachy, but it is well worth getting through it. If you would like a place to start my favorite was The Curates Awakening. They are easily gotten for next to nothing used on amazon.

rev

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You said somewhere that you don't believe man lived alongside dinosaurs in the past.

I suggest you check out this site.

http://creationontheweb.com

The Rev said...

thanks for that, but I have seen the young earth creationist arguments and I find them uninspiring. They basically have started with an idea, and then set out to prove it. That they use the bible for this original idea makes people assume it must be Godly. However, these same people that fight so hard for a literal translation for Genesis, are the same ones that support George Bush and the war, while Jesus says to love our enemies, and to return good for evil, and turn the other cheek. Why do they try and make the likely metaphorical passage be literal, while taking the obviously literal passages as metaphorical?

I start and end with Jesus, I thought that was the point.

rev

Anonymous said...

"I have realized that after all of my learning, and studying, all of my theology and practice, it comes back to a very simple proposition. Jesus, the personification of God's love, calls us to follow Him, and through that following we find the Father of all creation."

Beautiful.

And that we start and end with Jesus. Exactly.

I read this most recent blog to my wife, that she might understand why I like you so much. She does.

As we work, wait, and pray - now going on five years - for the door to open that we may go to China, we'll pray for your doors to open and your calling to be made known for 'your next adventure'.

- Van

Harry Wykman said...

Hi Jon,

Good to hear your news recently. G. Mac is one of my favorites!! Lilith is the book I enjoy most. I've only read that, Phantastes and some of the Princess and Curdie stories. What are your favorites?

Peace to you,

Harry

Anonymous said...

Hi Rev, i wanted to post a comment on "The Gay Disciple" which i and my wife just read..We find the book a wonderful read and it offers interesting perspective. You should research more into the things not being documented but are true in those times. While i was reading it, it did not occur to me its fabricated at all. I believe this is what Jesus would want to tell us too. Not sounding like i am anti-bible, i think some of the things inside there are man-made and not completely the word of god but god is big enough to accommodate a major flaw as huge as such which to him i am sure is like just a tiny little speck of dust. We are currently on tour in Alaska. We live in Japan. Have a wonderful life. Great dog u have! Thank you. God bless! :)