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Life in Christ
Author: George MacDonald
Editor: Michael Phillips
Publisher: Bethany House
Reading George MacDonald is like launching out into the ocean depths. His words convey profound and original thought on subjects that are fundamental to the Christian life.
This collection of sermons, taken from his Unspoken Sermons series, covers everything from the life that is in Christ to self-denial, freedom, our relationship to God as children and more. The ideas expressed are foundational to MacDonald’s emphasis on obedience and sonship (or childship), making it a valuable introduction to his work.
He shows so clearly what it means to follow Christ that I wondered how I could be so blind. That is often the impact of those like MacDonald, who know what they are talking about.
Phillips does an outstanding job of summarizing the history of MacDonald’s literary career. Until recently he was largely forgotten and most of his works were out of print. His introduction is the best commentary of the rise and fall of MacDonald’s popularity that I have read. This is one book worth having just for the introduction.
Phillips also does an excellent job of making MacDonald’s thought, which can be complex at times, easier to understand. The sermons are slightly edited for clarity. Phillips follows each sermon with a chapter where he shares his own insights gleaned from the writing. It gives you another chance to more fully digest the topic.
One of the delights is seeing MacDonald challenge an accepted interpretation of a verse. He goes beyond the English words to the best texts available to get at the intent of the original. He provides convincing evidence to conclusions that are more reasonable than controversial.
This book contains a wealth of spiritual insight that is worth discovering.
January 30, 2007