Hearing the Gospel through Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol
by Cheryl Anne Kincaid
Cambridge Scholars Publishing

"The Proclamation Candle is often called the Joy candle because the proclamation to the Shepherds, were waiting for a Savior, and their first response was to worship their Savior when He was announced to them."

Hearing the Gospel is about Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol and its parallelism with biblical passages. It is about the ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation of the novel's protagonist Scrooge and nostalgia for old Christmas traditions. Thus, the book is about the Christmas spirit, and the transformation it is capable to inspire.

Kincaid starts by drawing on some correlations between A Christmas Carol, Advent celebrations, and the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer of 1559. She then explores the parallelism between the Christian God who is in the business of saving the lost and Scrooge's old business partner Marley admonishing the church against judgmental elitism. Kincaid ends his analysis with Hebrews Chapter 1, reminding readers that the faith journey is a community effort. God uses people like John the Baptist (Bible) and Marley (Christmas Carol) to leave footprints that will serve as a guide towards Christ. From there, a sound and encouraging thesis has been established: People need a sturdier foundation than material things.

The book is critically written. Kincaid's quest to connect the gospel to Dickens' novel is a clever approach. It is insightful, provocative, and very refreshing. Drawing insights from a well-liked Charles Dickens' novel and connecting them neatly with passages from the Bible make the book incredibly reflective. While largely aimed at Christians, the book would be a welcome addition to the resources of any literature student. Academics and public alike can gain knowledge from it.

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