Tuesday, September 18, 2012

George MacDonald

is not very well known in today the Rev. MacDonald had an impact on one of the greatest generations of Christian writers and apologists including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton.

Born on December 10, 1824 at Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the son of a farmer, and one of the MacDonalds of Glen Coe, the Doric dialect of the area appears in the dialog of some of his non-fantasy novels. He was raised in the Congregationalist denomination but had problems with aspects of Calvinist doctrine, such as predestination.

MacDonald took a degree from the University of Aberdeen and then to Highbury College (London) to prepare for the ministry in the Congregational Church.

In 1850 he was appointed Pastor of Trinity Church (Arundel), but due to the lack of strict adherence to Calvinist principles in his preaching, he soon fell out of favor with that congregation. Later he moved to Manchester to do ministerial work, but had to leave for health reasons.

With leaving his full-time work in ministry, MacDonald began to spend more time writing, editing and lecturing, including a trip to the United States in 1872-1873, where he befriended Mark Twain, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Walt Whitman. Most of the great British and American writers of the 19th century where either acquaintances or friends of MacDonald, including Dickens and Tennyson.

MacDonald though best known for his fantasy writing, had a great impact on Christian theology and apologetics with his work Unspoken Sermons.

MacDonald died 18 September 1905 in Ashtead, Surrey, England and is Bordighera, Italy next to his wife. MacDonald's legacy was carried on by his son Greville MacDonald (a medical specialist and novelist) and his grandson Philip MacDonald (a screenwriter).


Heavenly Father who bestowest gifts and talents upon men, we thank thee for blessing us with those who use thier gifts for thy service and glory; remember Lord thy servant George MacDonald and by his example, we may also be useful to thee with the talents that thou hast given unto us. This we ask in the name of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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