Monday, February 13, 2012

Back

Folks,

Thanks for your patience.  I am making my way back from a long journey of writing and completely refurbishing our house.  There are several things in the works, which I will be writing about soon.  The main project has been my book The Shack Revisited, which I am pleased to tell you will be available around the world in October, published through Faith Words, a division of Hachette.  Meantime, it was published in Brazil by Sextante Press in September, and in four months reached number 11 on the non-fiction, best-seller list.  Not sure how to handle that, but, 'Thank you, Holy Spirit, we will have more please' is definitely in order.  It is clear that the spiritual climate around the world is changing.  People are tired of the emptiness of religion, and they are open and hungry for the truth.  What could be more beautiful?  The ancient gospel is being recovered and people are ready to hear it.

Over the last year I have been reading and re-reading a good bit of the great George MacDonald.  His book, Unspoken Sermons, which has been republished by Regent College Publishing as Christ in Creation: Unspoken Sermons of George MacDonald, edited by Roland Hein (available on Amazon), is so beautiful it is beyond words.  I read several of these sermons years ago, perhaps all of them, but I was not ready to appreciate what our brother was saying.  He grew up in harsh world of Calvinist Scotland, with an exceptionally loving father and and equally harsh school master.  His life long question related to holding together the love of Jesus' Father with what is called 'the justice of God.'  Unlike most of those of the growing liberal persuasion in his day, MacDonald was not willing to throw out the hard passages of Scripture to fit the softer God of the day.  So what you find in MacDonald is an extraordinary vision of the Father heart of God—the best I have ever read anywhere—with an equally extraordinary vision of the fact that this Father will never let us off with anything—again, the best I have ever read anywhere.  We must be clean, MacDonald would say, else we would never enjoy our Father and life in his house, and what Father would want that for his children?  Who really wants to go to heaven only to hide from the Father?  That is a rather honest and huge question.  What emerges in MacDonald's thought, through some 50 plus novels, fairy tales, sermons, lectures etc, is a picture of the self-sacrificing nature of the blessed Trinity for our benefit, and a sacrificing love that demands that we have not a feather of evil in us so that we can enjoy forever the life of the Father, Son and Spirit.

"All that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love's kind must be destroyed."

For MacDonald, judgment is not vindictive punishment for sin, the overflowing wrath of a disapproving deity, but a discerning, and a dividing of our false selves from who we are in Christ, so that we may live.  All that is alien in us to the trinitarian life of God has to be removed.  The judgment of God is the same as his mercy, love and goodness.  For what merciful God would ever allow us to be miserable in our darkness?  "If a man refuse to come out of his sin, he must suffer the vengeance of a love that would not be love if it left him there."  Jesus alone (not the church) is able to discern the demarcation between what we have become in our darkness and sin, and who we are in him, and he will strike his mark in patience, tenderness and grace.  No doubt it will hurt, but it is a good hurt, a redemptive hurt, a burning unto real purification and life.  So MacDonald does not throw out hell as an anachronistic bit of religious superstition; he gathers it into his vision of the determined Father heart of God.  It is redemptive.  We will be ready for the glory given to us in Jesus.  Thus we must be discerned in utter love—and righteousness, holiness, justice, mercy, truth.  We will be brought to the place where we run to Papa and beg him to judge us to the core of our being, for nothing will be more precious to us than life his house, life with Jesus and in the free-flowing fellowship of the Spirit.

How we get there from here lands us in the center of the ministry and the mystery of the Holy Spirit, the lover or our souls.    

15 comments:

Ferg said...

I too am loving George MacDonald, I think I've read 'Justice' and 'Abba' about 7 times each amongst others in the last couple of months. His understanding if the Father is astounding and inspiring.
Very much looking forward to your book. 'The Great Dance' was a revelation to me a few years ago.
Many blessings...
Ferg

Anonymous said...

Thanks Baxter for your thoughts, (when I read your post I can hear your southern draw and even that is a gift to me from God)It is freeing notion that the Father isn't satisfied in leaving me here to suffer in my own blindness. I have lately been thinking and trying to reconcile the stuff that is in me that is not love and how the Trinity dwells in me too. I know I don't want anything that is not of Him in me and it depresses me when I recognize it in me. Please Papa clean my eyes so that I might see me as you do.

Dan G said...

Thanks Baxter, for this and for everything. The last few years have been terribly difficult for a lot of different reasons and there is no one who has been able to break through the crap and remind me of the Father's heart towards me like you can. Thanks so much for the hope. I don't know how many times I have listened to your recordings and just bawled my eyes out.

I have always wanted to read MacDonald, and have only recently started working through his works. Some I listen to via Librivox, others I read. Your are absolutely spot on in what you've said about him. In fact when I read him I always think of your messages. It is the same uncompromising love that you both insist is at the heart of the Trinity.

Thanks again. So looking forward to more from you. We will most DEFINITELY have more please.

C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. said...

Thank you all. You are very encouraging.

Anonymous said...

I have never commented on a blog before. There is so much that I could say . I don't worry about the heaven or hell question anymore or trying to please GOD. I am learning to look at everything through the lens of am I mindful of the objective fact that I am loved or am I living from fear today or now? Once I started letting Father love me then the lenses I see through started to clear up over time. Thankfully love is patient love is kind. Malcolm Smith says we have to learn to" IS" it. When I allow myself to just let go and be present to the One who is present to me then I know that pleases the Trinity. So as the Holy Spirit has told me before Breathe deep my friend breathe deep. My mercies are new everyday.

Florian & Clare Berndt said...

I am glad I came to your blog today. What encouraging words! Yes, history will tell how much George MacDonald did for the Kingdom. A friend recommended his books a few years ago and I too found his vision of Father's heart beautiful. Would we all come to see it!

Sammy C said...

I'd stay away from George Macdonald.
He was a universalist!

http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/macdonald2.htm

Timothy Wright said...

Thats what I thought also. I have stayed away from him because I thought he was a universalist? Please help me with this. Thanks

Tim

Sammy C said...

this from the George Macdonald page:

"Every soul that is ultimately lost is a defeat of the love of God.

Those who exalt free choice believe God must operate only within the sphere of our sovereignty. "

We can't allow the news to be this good!! Sarcasm intended...

Or how about this from William Barclay:
" The only triumph a father can know is to have all his family back home. The only victory love can enjoy is the day when its offer of love is answered by the return of love. The only possible final triumph is a universe
loved by and in love with God."

"

Anonymous said...

Tim, I haven't read George McDonald, but I'd be jsut as careful of those 'reformed Calvinists' who warn you not to read someone. For goodness sake, where in the Bible does it say, 'don't read anything that might have something in it you disagree with' ? Go ahead and read him and make uo your own mind. In the end isn't that what the reformation was all about, not letting alleged experts (the priests) tell you what to think?

As for you Sammy C, shame on you. Agree with him or not, how dare you come on someone else's blog and try to dictate to people what they can and can't read.

Warren of Sydney

Sammy C said...

Warren of Sydney:

If you saw my second post you would notice a hint of sarcasm... this will show you that my first post is exactly the opposite of what you think.

Anonymous said...

In that case I apologise to you Sammy.

Sarcasm does not communicate well when there is only a short printed word like this so I'm sure you'll understand why I read it that way.

Given that Tim seems genuine in his concern about this issue I felt strongly that a response was needed to encourage him not to be intimidated.

Again, apologies if I've misunderstood you.

Warren of Sydney

C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. said...

On the first day I met with Professor James Torrance, he asked a bunch of questions, listened carefully, and then said, "Go away and read widely." That is the comment of man who believes there is truth and that that the Holy Spirit is most able to lead us to know him.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That was a great advice, Baxter. And so true. The longer I meditate upon the beauty of Father's heart and the finished work of Christ and our inclusion into the dance of the triune God, the more I discover that the Holy Spirit makes us more open minded, more accepting and more relaxed in Father's love. He truly is able to lead us into all truth.

Florian Berndt,
Germany

Erin said...

MacDonald a universalist? Really? Then I MUST read him. :)