Amazing article about George MacDonald, the twentieth century Christian novelist, at the Christian History subsite within Christianity Today. His thinking was way ahead of what has been coming out of the ’emerging church’ about the presence of God throughout life and within culture.
Here are a couple of extracts:
“Life and religion are one, or neither is anything,” he insisted. Incensed by seeing professing Christians intellectually assent to Christian doctrine while still adhering to secular attitudes and patterns of life, he dedicated his ministry to demonstrating that Christian truth is at the very heart of life. Life itself is constantly trying to teach that unity. “The same God who is in us … also is all about us—inside, the Spirit; outside, the Word,” he remarked, “and the two are ever trying to meet in us.” That is, every aspect of the created universe and of human experience comes from God. Rightly received, all of life is a vehicle of grace.
Stories, MacDonald discovered, are an ideal means for showing people the sacramental character of life. A prolific writer, he composed poetry, novels, and fairy tales for both children and adults, as well as sermons, essays, and works of literary criticism—over 50 books in all. A shrewd and discerning student of his own life’s experiences, both those of joy and those of grief, he portrayed the truths he discovered in his large gallery of characters. He was careful to teach nothing that his own life did not exemplify.