George Macdonald is one of a select handful of Christian authors who chose to use their gift of story and imagination to broaden and deepen their understanding and experience of the Christian faith, and in turn, to reflect mature theological insights to British, Canadian and American audiences. One of nine children born into a rural Scottish family living near Huntly, Aberdeen, Shire, MacDonald nurtured his love for literature while attending the University of Aberdeen. Upon graduating, MacDonald set out to become a Congregational Minister with a view to inviting his parishioners to join with him in discovering a vibrant Christian faith designed to engage the heart and mind so as to encourage faithful , practical and theological responses to genuine needs.

His efforts stood in stark contrast to a narrow brand of Calvinism found in many Presbyterian/Congregational churches of the era. Not long after securing his first pastorate, MacDonald married his beloved Louisa MacKay in 1844. He and Louisa delighted in the eleven children they would have together, even as MacDonald embarked on a prodigious literary output amidst significant health challenges. At times, his illness left the family’s budget in desperate straits, often needing to be rescued by faithful friends such as Lady Byron who acted as a patron to MacDonald as he sought to establish himself.

MacDonald’s robust understanding of a gracious and loving God are jewels of a faithful and gifted imagination that entreat us to enter into a graced world of story telling capable of fostering a faith that testifies to the reality of a loving Father who can equip and refresh us with a vibrant vision of faith, and hope, and love.

His work enables us to reimagine our Christian journey in ways that both teach and delight. For those new to George MacDonald: Fiction: Robert Falconer; David Elginbrod; Malcolm; Sir Gibbie; Donal Grant; Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood; Children’s fiction: At the Back of the North Wind; The Princess and the Goblin; The Princess and Curdie. Phantastes and Lilith both considered classics of mythopoeic writing and are more demanding of the reader but provide rich rewards for those who persevere. MacDonald’s books can be sourced directly from www.johannesen.com for quality hard bound editions.

In my experience volumes tend to arrive faster when you order directly from Johannesen – there are over 60 volumes in print.

– Bill Moore practices law in Kingston Ontario and is currently engaged in research on MacDonald. bill.moore.1@sympatico.ca

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