In this collection selected by C. S. Lewis are 365 selections from MacDonalds inspiring and challenging writings.
C. S. Lewis wrote the following about George Macdonald, "I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself!" Lewis offers 365 selections from MacDonald's work, ranging from "Inexorable Love" to "The Torment of Death." These wise words will instruct, uplift, and provide indispensable help toward the very acceptance of Christian faith.
Personally, I often grow weary of head knowledge and I want to commune with a saint who understands and experiences love to a degree that I can only hope to reach someday. I want to be encouraged that love is action, not theory; that Jesus is reality, not concept; that life is fullness and joy, not numbers and facts. George MacDonald takes me further and beyond the average cliché and pat descriptions and expectations of the Christian life. He takes me places I always hoped existed and renews my belief that God is much more than I can want or imagine.
And for what it's worth, I believe there is another way to interpret statement 1, different from A Reader's interpretation in the following review: "Oh the folly of any mind that would explain God before obeying Him! That would map out the character of God instead of crying, Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do?" I think G. M. meant that spending our time simply amassing facts ABOUT God is a poor substitute for EXPERIENCING God through the act of obedience. In other words, understanding the faith is different from walking by faith.
Those are my [opinion].
Even as does C.S. Lewis, George McDonald has a tendency to make movingly worded, but scripturally, or even reasonably, baseless statements. Culture and emotion are on his side, but that doesn't make him right.
For example, he subtly comes from the perspective that to truly know God is to never to plan, want, or put forth effort. Adam created the names of the animals, king David created the pieces for the temple of Solomon, and Moses gave the people the law. God sustained them and gave them their creative abilities, but it wasn't through sitting around waiting for God that they were able to bring these things about.
Further, he has the self righteousness that says "what a sinner I am", followed by "you should do such-and-such" or "we should all try to do such-and-such" meaning "you should do such-and-such". And has an over inflated view of the righteousness of children.
However, I share his view that we are all sinners, held back from becoming monsters by the chains of God, and I identify with his melancholy, but I finish the book holding him in equal regard to C.S. Lewis. Read that however you please.
In this little volume are 365 "readings," short quotes from MacDonald's sermons, novels, or stories. Actually, more than 2/3 of this material comes from his sermons. Several of these quotations are uplifting and thought-provoking, and all bear the mark of a man who devoted his life to Christian apology through fantasy. An anthology like this is a good place to be introduced to MacDonald's thinking and writing, and also a large step in understanding such later apologists as CS Lewis. These readings, though sometimes taken slightly out of context, are a great look into the work of George MacDonald.