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George MacDonald: An Anthology 365 Readings Paperback – April 7, 2015

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From the Back Cover

George MacDonald (1824-1905) was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Briefly a clergyman, then a professor of English literature at Bedford and King's College in London, he was a popular lecturer and published poetry, stories, novels, and fairy tales. In this collection selected by C. S. Lewis, we are offered 365 selections from MacDonald's inspiring and useful writings. C. S. Lewis wrote the following about George Macdonald, 'I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself!' Lewis offers 365 selections from MacDonald's work, ranging from 'Inexorable Love' to 'The Torment of Death.' These wise words will instruct, uplift, and provide indispensable help toward the very acceptance of Christian faith.

About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and have been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales más importantes del siglo veinte y podría decirse que fue el escritor cristiano más influyente de su tiempo. Fue profesor particular de literatura inglesa y miembro de la junta de gobierno en la Universidad Oxford hasta 1954, cuando fue nombrado profesor de literatura medieval y renacentista en la Universidad Cambridge, cargo que desempeñó hasta que se jubiló. Sus contribuciones a la crítica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantástica y teología popular le trajeron fama y aclamación a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribió más de treinta libros, lo cual le permitió alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aún atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada año. Sus más distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las Crónicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (April 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060653191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060653194
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
MacDonald was a master Christian apologist of the late 1800s, and an enormous influence on CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, WH Auden, and Charles Williams, to name a few. His fantasy novels and sermons have been a source of inspiration for every generation of Christian apologists and fantasy novelists since his death. MacDonald's writings, however, inspiring though they are, are often laborious and difficult to read. Additionally, much of MacDonald's writing phases in and out of print regularly, and is sometimes not easy to find. It is for these reasons that CS Lewis, who called MacDonald "my master," compiled this `anthology' of MacDonald's theology.
In this little volume are 365 "readings," short quotes from MacDonald's sermons, novels, or stories. Actually, more than 2/3 of this material comes from his sermons. Several of these quotations are uplifting and thought-provoking, and all bear the mark of a man who devoted his life to Christian apology through fantasy. An anthology like this is a good place to be introduced to MacDonald's thinking and writing, and also a large step in understanding such later apologists as CS Lewis. These readings, though sometimes taken slightly out of context, are a great look into the work of George MacDonald.
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Format: Paperback
While I am not typically a big fan of the short, daily reading format of quotes taken from some unknown context, I found and continue to find this book valuable and beautiful. Whether George MacDonald's theology was bad or not (and who's isn't at times?), one thing he conveys over and over in his writing is that he KNOWS the love of God. All the good theology in the world cannot measure against instruction about loving God and loving one's neighbor.
Personally, I often grow weary of head knowledge and I want to commune with a saint who understands and experiences love to a degree that I can only hope to reach someday. I want to be encouraged that love is action, not theory; that Jesus is reality, not concept; that life is fullness and joy, not numbers and facts. George MacDonald takes me further and beyond the average cliché and pat descriptions and expectations of the Christian life. He takes me places I always hoped existed and renews my belief that God is much more than I can want or imagine.
And for what it's worth, I believe there is another way to interpret statement 1, different from A Reader's interpretation in the following review: "Oh the folly of any mind that would explain God before obeying Him! That would map out the character of God instead of crying, Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do?" I think G. M. meant that spending our time simply amassing facts ABOUT God is a poor substitute for EXPERIENCING God through the act of obedience. In other words, understanding the faith is different from walking by faith.
Those are my [opinion].
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am halfway through the book and can't express how much it has spoken to me. The book is divided up into short, numbered sections, all less than half-a-page long; some as short as a sentence, and the reason is this: it is so rich with insight you cannot consume it in large gulps. You need to savor it, like fudge, to make sure you are relishing all that's there. I personally limit myself to about 10 sections per morning and I pause to journal and reflect on most.

I don't think I would have been ready to listen to MacDonald a few years ago. He writes from a deep, still place of ruthless, rugged faith. It's particularly rewarding for me to read snippets of his theological thoughts having just read his Curdie books. I notice many of his reflections showing up in the pages of his fiction. I also see the origination of much of C.S. Lewis's thinking and fiction.

Buy it and try it. If it doesn't ring true, wait a few years and try again. MacDonald's writings are a gift, as are his stories.
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Format: Paperback
In CS Lewis' 1945 novel, "The Great Divorce," 19th century fantasy poet/pastor George MacDonald guides Lewis' narrarator on passages between hell (the joyless, fearful "grey city") and heaven. The narrator (by extension, Lewis himself) acknowledges MacDonald's life influence from when, at 16, the then-agnostic Lewis read MacDonald's "Phantasies" and concluded: "Here begins the new life."

MacDonald's influence reaches past Lewis to forebears Lewis Carroll (whom MacDonald mentored through Carroll's writing/publishing "Alice in Wonderland"), James Barrie, and GK Chesterton. Barrie and Chesterton helped co-chair MacDonald's centenary celebration in 1924, and Chesterton later called MacDonald "one of the three or four greatest men of 19th century Britain."

No wonder Lewis prefaces his anthology of MacDonald quotes by calling its compilation "discharging a debt of justice." MacDonald, overlooked in a fantasy literature timeline stretching from Lewis and fellow Inkling J.R.R. Tolkein to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, shows his wisdom through 365 excerpts from his poems, sermons, and short stories. Each is less than a page-long for easy daily reading.

Referring continually to Lewis' introduction helps while reading his MacDonald selections. Lewis writes, "Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined." It guides MacDonald images of the Good Shepherd's sharp-toothed sheepdogs tracking and returning sinners (quote 149), or being told in bereavement "you must be made miserable that you may wake from your sleep to know that you need God." (quote 223, from a man who lost a wife and daughter during his life). Even misplaced daily items are God's blessing against materialism (81).
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