➮ [Read] ➪ Unspoken Sermons: Series I, II, III By George MacDonald ➺ – Horse-zine.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “Unspoken Sermons: Series I, II, III

  1. says:

    I am a pastor s daughter, so I have heard my share of sermons This collection of sermons was truly life changing for me Like no one else other than perhaps Dallas Willard , MacDonald is able to present God in a way that corresponds with reality His teaching is dense, but full of nourishment My life truly took on a better quality because of the guidance in this book, becoming a life in step with our Messiah, Jesus Christ.Some favorites are the following The Fear of God, Life, Self Denial, The Truth in Jesus, Inheritance, The Eloi, and The Displeasure of Jesus Really, just read them all You will not regret it Even the sermons that do not hit it out of the park are very, very good still full of wisdom, insight, and understanding of life in reality.


  2. says:

    I cannot possibly do justice in just a few words to describe how these three volumes have impacted me For the past 30 years of my life, I have developed a keen fondness for the stories of George MacDonald and have fallen in love with this man who seemed to know the heart of God in such an intimate manner Since purchasing the complete works of George MacDonald for my Kindle, I have been rediscovering my love for his stories yet also drawn than ever before by his theology leading me to this three volume set of his Unspoken Sermons Reading these volumes has represented the most delightful journey into Christian theology that I have ever experienced He was harshly judged by his church for his theology, a rejected prophet in his day But if his teaching were to become less obscure in our day, no doubt he would be equally and harshly condemned by many of our contemporary theologians, indignant at his challenge to the atonement theories that prevail in the 21st century evangelical church We need only look so far as the recent condemnation faced by Rob Bell when he offered an alternative view of God s loving judgement Perhaps it is only in the relative obscurity of MacDonald s theological works that permit his novels where his theology is also accessible to continue to grace the shelves of church libraries everywhere It is a pity that MacDonald is not known for his theological teaching It would no doubt serve as the same valuable corrective and soothing balm for the judgemental theological correctness of our day as it did for his day But no doubt the vast majority of us will need to depend on other familiar names to bring us the spirit of the teaching of this dear man whose deep love for God oozes out everywhere in his teaching.Christian author Oswald Chambers 1874 1917 wrote that it is a striking indication of the trend and shallowness of the modern reading public that George MacDonald s books have been so neglected Thanks to contemporary authors like Michael Phillips, and perhaps also to e book technology, this is fortunately less the case in the past 30 years than it has been previously.Here is what C.S Lewis says about MacDonald s Unspoken Sermons This collection, as I have said, was designed not to revive MacDonald s literary reputation but to spread his religious teaching Hence most of my extracts are taken from the three volumes of Unspoken Sermons My own debt to this book is almost as great as one man can owe to another and nearly all serious inquirers to whom I have introduced it acknowledge that it has given them great help sometimes indispensable help toward the very acceptance of the Christian faith I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself Hence his Christ like union of tenderness and severity Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him But it has not seemed to me that those who have received my books kindly take even now sufficient notice of the affiliation Honesty drives me to emphasize it MacDonald was able to avoid the dualistic error made by so many of us who have viewed the anger and the love of God as separate and distinct qualities of his nature MacDonald viewed them as one and the same I believe that justice and mercy are simply one and the same thing without justice to the full there can be no mercy, and without mercy to the full there can be no justice that such is the mercy of God that he will hold his children in the consuming fire of his distance until they pay the uttermost farthing, until they drop the purse of selfishness with all the dross that is in it, and rush home to the Father and the Son, and the many brethren rush inside the centre of the life giving fire whose outer circles burn I believe that no hell will be lacking which would help the just mercy of God to redeem his children Another favourite author of mine Dallas Willard always struck me for his gracious holding of truth Yet he could be severe when needed He had no hesitancy in confronting, in his book The Divine Conspiracy, the fundamentalist teaching of a popular theologian of our day John MacArthur With similar boldness, MacDonald harshly confronted what he saw as the error of the teaching of one of his most infamous predecessors From all copies of Jonathan Edwards s portrait of God, however faded by time, however softened by the use of less glaring pigments, I turn with loathing Not such a God is he concerning whom was the message John heard from Jesus, that he is light, and in him is no darkness at all from MacDonald s sermon Justice The title of Edwards infamous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is still frequently quoted today, treated as on a level with inspired scripture, and still influencing 300 years later the minds of believers and unbelievers alike on the character of a harsh and condemning God Although I need some time to continue to sift through some of MacDonald s controversial doctrines on atonement and his view that not even the most evil person born may yet be allowed the opportunity for repentance, while requiring perhaps aeons of punishment before he may be willing to come to such repentance , MacDonald is not only one of the most brilliant theologians I have ever read but also one whose writing continues to exude a deep love for his Master In aspiring to the same love that he had for his God and his diligent hunger for the truth of his God, I continue to regard MacDonald as one of my most important mentors on the Christian journey I view him as I would a father.


  3. says:

    George MacDonald is a fascinating writer whose works cover a wide range from imaginative fantasy stories to deep reflections on the Christian gospel This series of sermons is the latter and are beneficial for any Christian to work through MacDonald s unspoken sermons cover a wide range of topics from the nature of judgment and punishment to the Trinity to our reward from God I assume MacDonald was a controversial writer in his day, he certainly would be today for he takes pleasure in poking a stick at cherished traditional beliefs He scoffs at imputation, arguing that it makes no sense, is even unjust, for God to punish Jesus for our crimes His reflections on adoption gave me a whole different way to think, for he argues that it is wrong to see God as adopting children who are cut off from him, instead we are always God s children, though estranged through sin On top of all this, MacDonald was a universalist who saw all coming to God through Jesus eventually November 2017 I ve been rereading this as a sort of devotional, about a chapter i.e sermon a day or so MacDonald is one of my favorites, especially because his influence on the likes of CS Lewis, another of my favorites, is clear Upon rereading, I most appreciated a few themes that came up over and over One, MacDonald is less interested in theological debate then in discipleship For example, he is not impressed with precise theories of the atonement, especially when they take away from actually living as Jesus commanded Two, MacDonald is not impressed with traditional theology when it does not fit with common sense or scripture The idea of punishing an innocent person in order to save guilty people traditional view of atonement makes no sense to him Three, MacDonald wants nothing to do with any balance of love and justice, for him, God s love wins Any sort of punishment or justice must serve love in the end Maybe because I am reading Greg Boyd s Crucifixion of the Warrior God right now, I see lots of parallels Fourth, the traditional view of hell is sinister for MacDonald I think that people like MacDonald and Lewis, who are often honored by evangelicals today, would be akin to Rob Bell and seen as dangerous, if they were actually alive and writing today.Anyway, read MacDonald He s great.Agree or not, reading MacDonald is rewarding He greatly influenced Chesterton and Lewis, which makes me ask a question who are the Christian writers today who write good fiction stories AND also deep theological reflection akin to MacDonald or Lewis The only one I can think of is Marilynne Robinson It almost seems like there are two types of people First are those who gravitate to a scientific mindset and thus desire a detailed systematic theology that answers nearly all questions Then there are those who are mystical, who enjoy and are moved by myth and who gravitate to fantasy stories and meandering reflections on faith That is probably a false dichotomy, but it is intriguing to me that people like Lewis, MacDonald and Chesterton never attempted to write a systematic theology.I think we need both systematics and imagination Better yet, in a world obsessed with fantasy and superheroes see Star Wars, Avengers, etc we need a systematic theology informed by deep imagination and mysticism At any rate, I highly recommend MacDonald If you re not a fiction person, read the Unspoken Sermons But really, give his fiction a try too.


  4. says:

    Without qualification, this is the best work of theological and devotional literature I have ever read I find it wholly Christian and Spiritual in the best and truest senses of those terms Whenever I want encouragement, chastisement, spiritual food, or something theologically and antiphilosophically substantial I cannot recall ever failing to find all this here on each occasion I waiver just a moment to speak so highly of any book But, God help me, this has been the truth of my experience.


  5. says:

    George Macdonald s theology I absolutely admire, even though I disagree with his Universalism His Unspoken Sermons were challenging and very powerful C.S.Lewis spoke very highly of this work, and I certainly see why George Macdonald rejects cold intellectualism and the theology which portrays God as no better than a Moloch of a tyrant, and instead trust in the great beautiful God, Jesus Christ himself and no theories about the atonement This book has changed my life, as all of his other one s have Liltih would still have to be my favorite though, and in my personal opinion is his best work he ever wrote.


  6. says:

    These sermons are the deepest writing I have ever read, and probably my favorite book My wife and I were reading one out loud on a day off in a public park, and we both burst into tears and prayers and had to close the book Life is my favorite sermon, but they are all powerful I have not read them all, but I have read many of them 2 or 3 times in the past few years.I qualify this 5 star review by saying that I find MacDonald weird for the open ended way that he discusses the afterlife a fault, which, if it is a fault, is shared by C S Lewis in The Great Divorce, in which MacDonald is actually a character Another problem I had was the occasional philosophizing probably because MacDonald had to explain his views of God s character which were not ordinary in the 1800s But the unfathomably profound thoughts about God make it entirely worth continuing MacDonald was obsessed with the heart of God, and if you follow his heart and attitude towards the Father, you cannot go wrong.As an aside, if you have read Mere Christianity, you will find many statements scattered in these sermons which are repackaged or restated by Lewis, just as The Chronicles of Narnia draws from MacDonald s fantasy novels.I tell my friends that I would sell everything in my library published after 1950 if I can keep these sermons Reading each one is like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time.


  7. says:

    This isn t the easiest book to read The language feels overly complicated But there are incredible nuggets of truth throughout What I want to say and show is that a man will please God better by believing some things that are not told him, than by confining his faith to those things that are expressly saidbut is not this dangerous doctrine Will not a man be taught to believe the things he likes best, even to pray for that which he likes best The danger lies, not in asking from God what is not good, nor even in hoping to receive it from him, but it from him, but in not asking him, in not having him council.


  8. says:

    This is a book I keep going back to Often dense and difficult to understand MacDonald s writing style leaves something to be desired it s full of gems and wisdom and spiritual insight MacDonald verges on being a universalist that is, the doctrine that everyone will eventually be saved, not just those who have their faith in Christ here and he argues a good case for it without even completely coming out and saying that s what he is It was plainly something he struggled with throughout his life But universalism is just one of his many themes here, and there is a great deal about living the Christian life than there is about universalism.


  9. says:

    Hard, heavy reading But worth it Lots of gems in here.


  10. says:

    Oh my goodness This far exceeded any expectations I could have had of the book.I d tried to read this book several times His manner of writing is a bit round about and he often starts with some odd and seemingly unimportant detail of the text For example, in the very first sermon, he makes the claim that the child that Jesus held in his lap was Peter s I remember thinking huh How could we possibly know this and why would it possibly matter I felt this way about many of the sermons But by the end, I was always blown away In fact, it was not at all uncommon for me to feel the need to stop partway through a sermon and just pray and dwell on what was being discussed It would either be so powerful I couldn t move on or wouldn t dare for fear of forgetting what was stirring within me This is a pretty big deal to because I am someone who really hates stopping partway through a chapter I would rather not read than not finish But this book wouldn t allow me to do that.What George MacDonald does here is spill out with the heart of God What I learned through every sermon was who God is and what God desires I have begun rereading immediately.I read on my kindle, and I highlighted so many lines that the highlights are essentially worthless now In case you are not persuaded to read this just yet, perhaps hearing from George MacDonald himself will be helpful For he regards men not as they are merely, but as they shall be The one use of the Bible is to make us look at jesus, that through him we might know his Father and our Father, his God and our God Forgiveness can never be indifference Forgiveness is love towards the unlovely Many a man, many a woman, fair and flourishing to see, is going about with a rusty moth eaten heart within that form of strength or beauty Man s first business is, What does God want me to do not, What will God do if I do so and so Try not to feel good when thou art not good, but cry to Him who is good Every highest human act is just a giving back to God of that which he first gave to us But let a man once love, and all those difficulties which appeared apposed to love, will just be so many arguments for loving The love that enlarges not its borders, that is not ever spreading and including, and deepening, will contract, shrivel, decay, die But in the working of the Divine Love upon the race, my enemy is doomed to cease to be my enemy, and to become my friend The refusal to look up to God as our Father is the one central wrong in the whole human affair The simplest peasant loving his cow, is divine than any monarch whose monarchy is his glory God is not bound to punish sin he is bound to destroy sin God does destroy sin he is always destroying sin In him I trust that he is destroying sin in me May we trust God with our past as heartily as with our future Whatever the place Heaven, or perhaps broadly, the afterlife be like, one thing is certain, that there will be endless, infinite atonement, ever growing love.


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