All posts tagged George MacDonaold

  • George MacDonald’s Spiritual Journey (And Mine Too)


    George MacDonald’s Spiritual Journey (And Mine Too)
    Brian Zahnd

    “I have never concealed the fact that I regarded George MacDonald as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote him.” –C.S. Lewis

    “I can testify to a book that has made a difference to my whole existence…and it is by George MacDonald.” –G.K. Chesterton

    George MacDonald (
    1824–1905) was a Scottish novelist, poet, preacher, mystic, lecturer, theologian whose writings have had an enormous influence on many Christian thinkers, including C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton. In my own spiritual journey I would list George MacDonald’s Lilith as a top ten influence.

    George MacDonald understood as clearly as anyone that salvation is not so much a conferred status as it is a lifelong journey — a continual pressing into the revelation of God in Christ. But to be a public theologian, thinker, writer and on an ever-evolving spiritual journey, rankles the self-appointed gatekeepers of religious certitude. Thus George MacDonald was regularly (and wrongly) accused of heresy for simply not toeing the line of the Scottish Calvinism predominant in his day.

    In the mid 1860’s George MacDonald received a letter from a troubled reader asking why he had lost the “old faith” and embraced what many regarded as “unorthodox” views. MacDonald’s candid reply is brilliant and beautiful and I would like to share it with you. (Plus, as one who has often been criticized for moving beyond an earlier fundamentalist/charismatic certitude, MacDonald’s defense will aptly suffice as my own.)

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  • Veritas

    Veritas. Truth.

    Your first allegiance must be to truth.

    You must love truth before you love God.

    For without a primary love of truth, how do you know that the God you love is the God that is?

    Without primary allegiance to truth, you may just love your own ideas which you call God.

    If you don’t love truth enough, you will sell it cheap.

    Without a costly commitment to truth, you’ll trade truth for certitude.

    Certitude is a poor substitute for truth.

    If all you want is cheap certitude, that’s easy enough to come by. Just land on some opinion one way or the other, tell yourself you’re certain, and that’s that. No wrestling with doubt, no dark night of the soul, no costly agonizing over the matter, no testing yourself with hard questions. Just accept a secondhand assumption or a majority opinion or a popular sentiment or an inherited tradition as the final word and settle into certainty. You don’t have think about it ever again. Ignorance is bliss. So is certitude.

    But… Read more