MacDonald stressed the necessity of salvation and the importance of combining Christian faith with obedience to Jesus' teachings. He also believed that God's universal grace would eventually save everyone. Though written in the mid-19th century, these sermons, including "Mirrors of Christ", "Glorified through Trouble", "Salvation from Sin", and "The Giver of Rest", continue to provide contemporary followers with the spiritual guidance they seek.
For those who wish to know Jesus better, this is a book you will want to hear.
(P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
...but don't do what he says?
I got this audio book with some reservation, fearing that it would be more of the conservative, yet insubstantial, rhetoric that fills Christian book stores. Not so. George Macdonald's message is simple, "Hear Jesus. Do what he says." And yet he says it convincingly and persuasively. This book should appeal to conservative and liberal Christians alike, because it doesn't spend time being dogmatic or undercutting dogma. Macdonald points us straight to Jesus.
The narrator is also excellent. You can tell he really spent time with these sermons, getting to know their inner workings. His reading brings out the emotion behind every word as if they were his own, without going overboard on drama.
I was a little afraid to get this book because of what one reviewer posted but after listening to it, I am so glad I did. For the investment of five or so hours of my time, I gained nothing less than an entirely new perspective on Jesus. This is a life-changing book. This author truly knows Him, and wants to share Him with you. I count myself a Christian and am familiar with the Gospels, but I never knew this Jesus. There is no conservative or liberal slant to this book. This author doesn't discuss doctrine, he only cares about getting at the Truth, and he rejects doctrine that seems to him unworthy of a truly loving God.
As to the comment that the author is full of himself, and condescending to his listeners, I found no basis whatsoever for this charge. The reader is pretty good, although I wish he would have paused a little between chapters.
A magnificent book. Well worth your time.
A huge Lewis fan myself, I downloaded this based on Lewis's praise for MacDonald. The sermons were even better than I imagined. Lewis says that MacDonald was the closest in spirit to Christ that he knew. I now see why he said this. Yes, MacDonald does preach with conviction and can seem to 'talk down' to his audience. Do you think Christ would pat us on the back for being anything but perfect, though? I recommend this to everyone!
I like George Macdonald, and have read several of his stories. I believe, however, that he expresses his theology the best when he presents it in a story. I don't mean at all that he can't express himself clearly, or that he doesn't speak plainly, I only mean that he often speaks a little to plainly at times. Macdonald displays his message with very few anecdotes and almost a complete lack of humor. As a result, it can make listening to or reading him a difficult thing. Also, he hardly quotes from or refers to any other author or thinker, which can make him sound a little condescending, as one listener said he sounded like, making you feel like he's got the scoop on God and you don't. As I was listening, I found myself "tuning out" for several minutes at a time, only to come back and realize that I had completely missed what it was that he was saying. Now I am an admitted daydreamer, but I can tell the difference between being bored and daydreaming, and being entertained, but having alot of stuff on my mind. For the most part, I was bored. If you read his stories, and discover how he weaves his theology in them, it is a very beautiful thing to read. In his sermons, however, you are confronted with pure, unalloyed theology and it is hard to follow him. He sounds like he takes himself very seriously in these sermons, and is not able to poke fun at himself, which in turn makes him sound like he's not very humble. The narrator (sp?) also reads the book too fast and phrases certain words in an odd way. I think the reader also has a certain condescending tone in his voice, which can also account for the overall tone of the book. In conclusion, I would say that this book was very hard to get through, and could have been narrated better. George Macdonald is one of my favorite storytellers, but not one of my favorite preachers.
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