John Piper’s book “The Pleasures Of God” has had a major impact on my life. I haven’t become perfect but I’m 100 times better today. After all I’m a schizophrenic. But I wanted to share this because George MacDonald had a huge impact on John Piper in his experience of wonder and paradox. I guess I can thank George MacDonald for my improvements.
Chesterton and MacDonald (and Lewis?)
I said I was going to fudge a little. Here is another fudging on this question. I am going to include here G.K. Chesterton and George MacDonald. Now, I know Chesterton is a Roman Catholic. George MacDonald just hated Calvinism, because he grew up in it. So did Chesterton. Chesterton mocked Calvinism. George MacDonald mocked Calvinism. So, they qualify as non-Calvinists at least. And I mention them because of the impact that they have had on me. I almost included C.S. Lewis, but Doug Wilson made such a strong, compelling case for the Reformed thinking of Lewis at our conference a couple of years ago that I will leave Lewis out, because Lewis is massively influential to me — and he is not your run-of-the-mill Calvinist. But Chesterton and MacDonald were verbally abusive of Calvinists, and I have found this one thing when I read them both: their aliveness to the wonders and the paradoxes and the surprises and the oddities of the world in which we live.
G.K. Chesterton and George MacDonald were alive to the wonders of the world in which we live.
MacDonald wasn’t even orthodox on his view of the cross. He just falls short of Arminianism. But when I read those two men’s sense of wonder in the real world in which we live, I am brought more alive to the Bible, more alive to the wonders in which I live. I feel like a healthier human being. In fact, I wrote about this on the blog. It is back there somewhere a couple of years ago, I think, called “The Sovereign God of Elfland: Why Chesterton’s Anti-Calvinism Doesn’t Put Me Off." So, if somebody wants to see more of what I mean by the influence of Chesterton and MacDonald they could look there. ~~ John Piper