Home > Books, Quotations > The Curate’s Awakening (Part 1)

The Curate’s Awakening (Part 1)

I’m firmly convinced that anyone who lives an honest mental life struggles with doubt. The Curate’s Awakening is a story that explores this idea through the life of Thomas Wingfold, a young clergyman who finally has to come to terms with the beliefs his occupation requires him to hold.

You must ask yourself a question: do you love your faith so little that you have never battled a single fear lest your faith should not be true?

This book was recommended to me as a starting point for exploring the writing of George MacDonald. I’ve been told it isn’t particularly “typical” of his writing, and if Lilith is any indication (a book I just finished), that may indeed be true. Nevertheless it still comes highly recommended. But be warned, this isn’t a story that saves its hard questions for the end; they come fast and furious from the very first chapter.

Why else are our imaginations given to us but to help us to discover good reasons to believe as we do?

The imagination can be a powerful weapon to battle doubt, don’t you think? When naked theology doesn’t convince, the clothed truths in Narnia do. Even Jesus told parables. Human beings are wired to believe stories much more readily than textbooks. Perhaps that’s why God chose to make the Bible much more like a fairy tale (albeit a true one) than a systematic theology.

Much more MacDonald to come in the next couple of days. Thanks for reading!

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Categories: Books, Quotations
  1. 25 Aug 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Good insights! I’m interested to know if you read The Shack and what you thought of it.

  2. 30 Aug 2010 at 10:00 am

    Sarah, I did read the Shack a year or two ago. The short answer is that I found it “interesting” but not particularly life-changing. My strongest memory of it was how hard it was to read the beginning, having daughters of my own.

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