Guest / Limited Access /

An essay, not a novel, but a provocative expression of Dickens's Christian thinking in which he gives bold advice to pastors. The emphasis, however, is on the centrality of Jesus in the Christian message and the life of faith.

For Dickens, Christianity is not primarily about right doctrine, but right practice. A Christmas Carol is certainly a story of reclamation and transformation, but more than that it is an invitation to embrace the spirit of Christmas—of Incarnation—in giving ourselves away in service to others.

Little Dorrit
(General Books LLC)

In what is probably Dickens's most profound contemplation of his own Christian worldview and message, he examines the Christlike service of the selfless Amy Dorrit, the distorted religion of the self-righteous Mrs. Clennam, and the diabolical evil of the villain Blandois.

Bleak House

This novel is at once a love story, social commentary, and detective novel. Uncompromising in his Christian worldview, Dickens deals directly—and in penetrating ways—with such themes as the church, the providence of God, and "real Christianity," as well as compassion, forgiveness, and generosity.

Our Mutual Friend
(Modern Library)

Here, Dickens purposes to expose the bankruptcy of worldly values, particularly as they are expressed in self-interest and the love of money. Over and against this, he sets in bold relief the value of intimate relationships and devoted love.

Related Elsewhere:

Gary Colledge is author of forthcoming God and Charles Dickens.

A Christmas Carol, Little Dorrit, and Our Mutual Friend are available from, and other book retailers.

Previous Christianity ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueYou Can't Worship Here: Evicting Churches from New York Schools
Subscriber Access Only You Can't Worship Here: Evicting Churches from New York Schools
What will really happen this weekend when churches gather in school buildings for the last time?
TrendingWhy Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
Why Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
In the face of a candidate’s antics, ‘America’s Pastor’ speaks out.
Editor's PickLet's Kiss Dating Hello
Let's Kiss Dating Hello
A sociologist reveals her research about “ring by spring” culture on a Christian college campus.
Christianity Today
My Top 5 Books By Charles Dickens
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.