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The Hope of the Gospel Paperback – May 25, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George MacDonald (1824 – 1905) was a Scottish author and poet. He is also a Great Spiritual Master of his century who spent several years as Christian Minister in his native Scotland before he became a well-known author for his fantasy and fairytale masterpiece work such as Golden Key and Phantastes.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: International Alliance Pro-Publishing, LLC (May 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609422058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609422059
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,769,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Johannensen editions of these books _are_ gorgeously solid without being flashy or pretentious, btw. I highly recommend buying from them.

MacDonald wrote five volumes of 'Unspoken Sermons' (the title of the first three volumes); each a cycle of 12 sermons leading into each other (he always ends one sermon with the verse upon which the next is based). This duplex includes _Hope of the Gospel_ and _Miracles of Our Lord_, both of which are in essence extensions of the Unspoken series.

MoOL (which doesn't feature the usual crossover between chapter/sermons, btw) makes an especially good reference for fans and students (like myself) of C.S. Lewis' _Miracles: A Preliminary Study_, as Lewis definitely drew on this book for the form and presentation of his chapters of philosophical analysis of the miracles wrought by Jesus. (In fact, all the Unspokens give excellent insight into Lewis' theological backgrounding.) MacDonald presents a penetrating theological and devotional presentation of the Lord's works, emphasizing the call to faith in Jesus personally inherent in each one. The book can be read as an auxiliary to the other Unspokens, or as an introduction to the series as a whole.

HotG works best, in my opinion, as a summary of positions developed in the three main Unspoken volumes (although all the sermons are also quite original); consequently I always read it last. {g} The first few sermons trace Jesus' early life and ministry, giving fascinating insights on His Jerusalem Temple adventure and His baptism,as well as on the meaning inherent in His given name. From these points, MacDonald structures the remaining chapters around the Beatitudes, presenting them as the clearest way to understand the gospel given by God through (and as) Jesus.
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Format: Paperback
In the essay "Sorrow--The Pledge of Joy", George MacDonald wrote: "Out upon such miserable theologians as . . . so cut and pare the words of the Lord as to take the very life from them, quenching all their glory and colour". You won't find these words in the edited version of this essay in _Life Essential_; in my opinion, Hein has so cut and pared the words of MacDonald as to take the very life from them, quenching not all, but much, of their glory and color.

In the introduction, Hein warns us that the editing has taken place, resulting in about half of MacDonald's words being discarded. The ostensible reason is that MacDonald tended to use florid language that is awkward to the modern ear, and that he tended to repeat himself. Search the Internet for MacDonald's original texts and compare them to Hein's editions and see if you don't agree with me that the language Hein cut was often glorious. And when you examine the deletions it will be obvious that elimination of repetition can't explain all of them. On the contrary, the deleted passages often make points not made by the surviving text, points that perhaps made Hein uncomfortable (like, in "Sorrow--The Pledge of Joy", the eternal nature of human relationships: "A heaven without human love it were inhuman, and yet more undivine to desire; it ought not to be desired by any being made in the image of God.")

Do yourself a favor and buy the lovely Johannesen editions of MacDonald's original works instead.
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Format: Paperback
I found this treatise one of the most challenging, the most ringingly true summary of the gospel I have ever encountered. At first I thought it was "works oriented," but then I started realizing that, as they say in AA, nothing changes if nothing changes. Obedience can be as simple as praying when you are blessed with the impulse.
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Format: Paperback
Although I agree with the previous reviewer up to a point, I recommend this little book as an introduction to MacDonald's writing. It is easy to read and contains deep truths that penetrate to the heart. He brings a fresh and unique perspective from a deep understanding of our Heavenly Father's love for us. This is a book for those who hunger after righteousness, for those who, in MacDonald's words, trust that "increasing desire is the sign that satisfaction is drawing nearer." As Corbin Scott Carnell, University of Florida, has said, "Rolland Hein's expert condensation makes these writings accessible to our time." If I personally hadn't begun with this book I may never have wanted to buy the sermons in their original, unedited form.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An extremely good book for people who can read, or for those like me who are willing to read and reread, think and rethink. MacDonald presents a picture of the Gospel consistent with rational thought and devoid of theological slight of hand.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I prefer MacDonald's theological works to his fiction. This book is like a continuation of Unspoken Sermons, as it is written in the same format. In my humble opinion he is one of the greatest Christian writers EVER. His understanding of Jesus and his teachings is baffling, and his writings are almost prophetic. So if you are someone trying to strengthen your faith or someone who is trying to find the strength to have faith, this is the man to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I can see why C.S. Lewis called George MacDonald his master. especially liked his chapter on the possibility of beloved animals having an after life. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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