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Book Review: Bright Evening Star by Madeleine L’Engle

Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the IncarnationBright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation by Madeleine L’Engle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Oh, that Madeleine.”

As a master storyteller herself, L’Engle helps the reader to view the gospels through a different lens – true story. How do we read stories that are common to us? L’Engle helps us turn the gemstone and see a different facet. I love that about her.

There are absolutely things I disagree with in L’Engle’s writing. I’ve said before that she mistakes when she reads “God is love” as “Love is God.” I think that is her great error. That said, her emphasis on God’s love and how Christ worked out God’s love during his earthly ministry is a beautiful reminder of the nature of the Kingdom.

As a Reformed, Calvinistic Christian who does believe in theological points that L’Engle disdains, I can still read her with profit. Her emphasis on Christ’s laying down power that was woven throughout the book (Phil 2, “did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped”) and the ways he acted out of compassion and his pointed teaching through parables helps to give a more robust understanding of His work. I do think He planned the cross. I do think He agreed to the cross beforehand because of love – greater love has no man than this than he lay down his life for his friends.

There is paradox, we don’t have to understand all. L’Engle does a beautiful job of pulling out the threads of paradox and helping us love more.

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