Faith in Writing

Writings on Faith and Religion by The Rev. Dr. James Lewis Macleod (1937-)
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Presented by the Neill Macaulay (1854 - 1916)  Foundation
Founded 1994

The Neill Macaulay Foundation is pleased to be able to bring to you at last the educational and religious writings of The Rev. Dr. James Lewis MacLeod. His religious books and some educational writings are brought to you free on our website, because Dr. MacLeod does not wish to charge fees for religious insights. You may copy any of them as you wish for non-commercial use, as you wish to use them for your recall, Sunday School lessons, sermons, or personal edification.

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Dr. MacLeod is a minister, and the son of a minister. He has served in three Protestant denominations (all Presbyterian). He designates himself as a "conservative" Protestant. He is now retired after 39 years in the ministry. He has also been a writer and a teacher.

Dr. MacLeod is listed in Marquis' "Who's Who in America," "Who's Who In The World, and "Who's Who In The South and Southwest."

Dr. MacLeod prepared for college at the Darlington School, Rome, Georgia, and graduated from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia. While at Washington and Lee he was a student under the historian, Arnold J. Toynbee, who was a visiting professor there.

Dr. MacLeod was instructed in writing by a friend, the Southern (Georgia) writer, Flannery O'Connor. She was a devout Roman Catholic. They enjoyed an ecumenical relationship and discussed many subjects. He was a pall bearer at her funeral. (It was felt this would help make it an ecumenical statement.) One of the religious books contained on this website of his books and writings, is a memorial to Flannery O'Connor by him. You may want to check it out. (If so, see Part III of this introduction, About Books.)

Dr. MacLeod attended Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey and the Emory University School Of Theology (Candler), Atlanta, Georgia. He was for a time a teacher of Gifted Students at the secondary school level. He taught as well as preached. He has several degrees.

Part II offers thoughts on the Importance of Elementals. Part III which follows this Part II, takes up the broad Belief Overview of Dr. MacLeod. Part IV takes up some of his books you may be particularly interested in.

Instead of reading about him, you will enjoy reading him directly even more. Have a good read. Dr. MacLeod is challenging at times, but always understandable and intelligent, while his writings and thoughts on religion are, thankfully we feel, on a deeper than usual level.

Dr. MacLeod always has something to say that you may or may not agree with, but you will be glad for having read his writings. Conservative in belief (due to the ecumenical Catholic influence of O’Connor) he remains highly intelligent, strongly orthodox and firmly Protestant.

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Your life as well as those of nations and societies should be made with a wise consideration of elementals which are "the internal rhythms of nature." These rhythms are part of our natures and all nature. They were put in by Nature's God at the creation.

If we deny in our living the internal rhythms of nature, which are the "elementals" of human and world existence, we are then more likely to bring suffering on ourselves as well as humanity than if we had wisely observed them. For if we upset the balance of nature, which includes the elemental rhythms of humanity and nature, we or our societies will be more likely to degenerate, wither and be fall into self-misery and social suffering.

Religion is one of the "eternal rhythms" of our nature which is a part of bigger nature. Other (but not all) elementals of nature to be considered are parenthood, family life, community life, love, keeping in touch with earth, awareness and appreciation of nature. A life without these will be poorer for having missed taking part in interior rhythms of nature.

The happiness and fulfillment of mankind does not come primarily from new superficial truths we may chance upon at this time, but which are largely temporary and soon out of vogue. Happiness best comes from an awareness and enjoyment of elementals that were put in us by Nature's God. These awaken us to life and make us vibrate with a sense of being and a feeling of security and order.

A life that honors and is involved in the interior rhythms of nature, the elementals of mankind, is not only a more pleasing life but a necessary one because it maintains the balance of nature and natural feelings that are needed to thrive and survive nature in and life.

To be in touch with our internal rhythms as well as the exterior rhythms of nature does not mean that we must accept these rhythms in their lowest and most debased primitive forms. Rather it means the rhythms of nature must be accepted by us but in so doing elevated to a higher grace, sublimated, raised to a new level of consciousness and ultimately civilized.

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Dr. MacLeod's


To the ones with the right spiritual values ultimately goes the victory. It is not country, race, tribe or type of politics practiced but the spiritual values held and practiced, however imperfectly, that will ultimately decide the situation the world including all nations are in. Now these spiritual values will not be held or practiced perfectly because of basic human nature, but they will prove to be an improving force, and the most important force, in determining the future of our nation and the world.

America has long departed from the right spiritual values and is in a period of moral decadence and decline spiritually, morally, economically and in many other ways. The country today is a VALUES DISASTER (a social disaster caused by the absence of the right values.) This country and much of the world is a disaster of materialism, personal morality, crime, anti-spirituality, and family irresponsibility to name a few examples.

This spiritual decline and moral decadence around us is also reflected in the declining of America’s economic place in the world. Recently an economic bubble has burst because of materialistic greed on every level. It includes the idea that a really successful economy can exist without being accompanied by honesty and widespread spiritual and moral limits self-imposed on the selfishness and cupidity of both customers and capitalists. Instead what has happened? A massive decline of the work ethic along with unrealistic personal and social expectations. A formula for tragedy.

This had to happen because spiritual common sense and a sacramental approach to living with dignity and in social harmony has largely been laid aside in this country and the world. What is going on is an unbalanced view of life: that mankind can exist with materialism on the one end of the see-saw but having no spiritual awareness on the other end of the see-saw that is daily life to balance mad materialism, greed and the excesses of human nature.

We in this country as well as the rest of the world have fallen from classical balanced spiritual thinking. That is our tragedy. We have departed from that classical thinking and balanced view of things, which the peoples of all times have been capable of and expressed in different spiritual views. (Now these spiritual views may have differed in some ways, but the spiritual outlook served to keep mankind from walking out on a plank of materialism, amorality and non-balanced excesses that lead to self-destruction. For this is what we are doing in America, and in places all over the world today. We need to consider today if we are spiritually unbalanced in our lives and thinking. Are we making in our personal lives and in our nations many one sided, unbalanced and warped decisions?)

We need to reemphasize a balanced, eternally and spiritually “classical thinking,” which is thinking in a world view that includes the spiritual balance to the mad materialism of our times. It also curbs the selfish and too-individualistic dark side of human nature that needs to be curbed for the sake of a harmonious society. This balanced view of including spiritual thinking was given to us by Nature’s God as a gift of grace for our survival. Belief in God is natural to people. It comes instinctively, and was given out of the kindness of God, who is real, as an aid to our survival. Instead of arguing over if there is a God, we should accept belief as natural and a gift from God. We know through the gift of belief God is real. For He blessed us with it. It is good for us, though some may misuse it; it still redeems us from ourselves. Those who live in grace know grace to be good.

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Dr. MacLeod's


1. First on the NWM Foundation website is a recent collection of Dr. MacLeod's religious works entitled: "Reasoning Together." Check it out.

2. In Table Of Contents is listed other previous religious books of Dr. MacLeod. There you may find another book that interests many. It is "A Season of Grace," a collection of religious meditations dedicated to the Southern writer, Flannery O'Connor, who was a good friend of Dr. MacLeod. She instructed him informally in writing.

A few remarks on Flannery O'Connor can be found in the Introduction-Dedication to "A Season Of Grace" that can be found here on this website. Look in Table of Contents under Library of Dr. MacLeod's Books for the title, “Season of Grace." (It was told to him at the time that O'Connor specifically desired that he, a friend as well as a Presbyterian pastor, be a pall bearer. O'Connor was an ecumenical Catholic. She and MacLeod agreed on being able to disagree without being disagreeable as a desirable Christian trait. They often discussed religious matters as well as writing skills or literature.

3. Another book to be noticed is "The Presbyterian Tradition in the South." This was written by Dr. MacLeod as a memorial to his father, a Presbyterian minister, a life-time member of this now defunct denomination.

Dr. MacLeod did not fully approve of the sinking of the Southern Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church U.S.) into a national church. The deed was justified on the grounds of eliminating regional churches and making them national. This made no sense to Dr. MacLeod because a nation is primarily a region with organized planning. Dr. MacLeod, on the other hand, tends to "devolution” in political organizations in which structures become smaller (instead of larger) to enable people to receive more efficient and personal services as well as a warmer united fellowship. That is one reason why today he is in the smaller Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, organized in America in 1776.

He supports the New Testament house church movement – getting better through smaller is one reason he supports the house church movement – more intimate and smaller basis.

4. Another book of Dr. MacLeod worthy of particular notice on this website is "The Great Dr. Waddell (pronounced Waddle) "Because of the obvious collapse in today's education (of which Dr. MacLeod as a teacher knew well and first hand), the author wished to direct attention by this book to a successful log cabin pioneer secondary school founded by a minister. This historically very successful school did NOT take a great deal of money to run, as the case is argued today, but it took an entirely different set of values as well as different work and study ethic than those widely in vogue today in often misguided contemporary education.

Because Dr. MacLeod sees the future of good (not only academic but more than that) education in Christian home schooling and small church academies without too much money, but very different values, he wished to point out that in education the values, work ethic and self-dedication (rarely seen today ) gain the ultimate victory. (Waddell pronounced his name "Waddle" and when it was suggested he stylize the pronunciation of his name, he said that he had "waddled" thus far, and would "waddle" on to the end.)

5. The religious and educational books and writings of Dr. MacLeod on this website are made free to the public by the foundation and according to Dr. MacLeod's intentions. However, there is a literary book by Dr. MacLeod coming up later in 2009 that readers will have to pay for to order.

The coming book is NOT a religious book, but a book that is to be a Memoir fictionalized to protect both innocent and guilty Where and how it can be ordered will be placed here on this website, so you will be able to order it if you wish when it comes out.

Let us stress again the coming book will be classified as literature and not religion, so it will not be available free on the internet. The book may be indirectly religious but not primarily so. The new book will be more in line with a previous short story of Dr. MacLeod that may be found is found in the book, "Necessary Fiction” for the "Georgia Review," University of Georgia Press.

Dr. MacLeod's


Religion is a necessity of humanity. History has demonstrated this. All people have spiritual needs. In times of material increase, spiritual needs increase. It becomes even more necessary to address the spiritual wants of mankind.

Those saying they do not have spiritual needs are to me simply shallow semi-conscious people out of touch with their deeper selves. Many are the simple ones in a coma of materialism caused by the shock of suddenly increased wealth in the nation.

Should there be any who say they lack spiritual needs, they are simply out of touch with their deeper instincts and wants. They are much to be pitied as they lack natural human feelings.

The service I can do as a minister of faith is to try to define and direct the religious impulses of normal, healthy humans to the highest conceptions of God.

Or I may attempt to put people who are out of touch with their deeper selves back in touch with their latent spiritual selves. Then they may lead more normal and healthier lives including the transcendent feelings of worship, joy in God, faith in the future of humanity, and reverence for God’s Creation in nature and the earth.

Yet frankly I do not know what to do with any lacking religious feelings except to pity them and protect them. I see them as a music teacher sees the tone deaf, an artist sees the color blind, a criminologist views the sociopath, or a physician views a child born defective without a kidney. They deserve a compassion and protection we would be callous not to offer.

I try to accomplish my religious mission by writing and using varying literary strategies: poems or heightened prose, sermons, inspirational writing, biographies, etc. The literary forms are found in the Table Of Contents as you wish. The most recent is the book Reasoning Together.

All of us are aware that the words and forms are not the important things in religion. The vital thing is the Spirit behind the words and forms. If these writings awaken you in any degree, give God the Glory and certainly not myself. In reading, if you find something, God send you grace. Amazing Grace.


An Introduction to Dr. MacLeod
by Tom Pumroy

The world has entered a new chapter in its history. Call it "one world order" or the rise of corporate hegemony, whatever; but our world seems to have taken a bad turn tilting it towards more control of people by those whose God is power or money. The Bible calls this the worship of Mammon. Money, or materialism, seems to have come to take first place in the affairs of mankind as it never has before. Spirituality and the worship of God seem to have taken a backseat as so called "progress" seems to be a blind force.

The Rev. Dr. James MacLeod (1937- ) a noted Presbyterian minister, is one of the voices "crying in the wilderness" for a return to the recognition of the dual nature (both material and spiritual) of man. He gives reasoned and insightful comments (Reasoning Together) on what it means to be a Christian today. He is a conservative Christian and places great emphasis upon rediscovering the immanent spirituality of the New Testament Church. Also offered is “A Season of Grace”, meditations dedicated to the southern writer Flannery O’Connor.

Dr. MacLeod believes modern Christianity will not suffice for the situation mankind is in because it has been watered down by liberalism and creedally intellectualized into near oblivion by people wanting to argue about what they believe, rather than applying what they do believe. He is ecumenically aware. His view is "love first, creed second." It is by applying love to people, not in debating creeds, that common solutions to our spiritual problems will be more likely found.

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Grace Creates Grace

Four Step Summery

The Socratic Fallacy

Philosophers of Christ

Holy Bread

How Good and Evil Work

Irrelevant Religions

Meeting With God

Grace Fractures

Jonah and the Whale

On Praying For Grace

Mothers "Fathers Day" Homily




The Three Pillars of Faith

Witnessing In Decadence

If This Be Treason


A New Protestantism

Be A Human, Believe

A Religious Tragedy

Wink Your Way Through

The Redeeming of Zion

False Christians

Two Causes of Western Decadence

Get Thee To God

Technology! Alleluia!

Evolutionary Grace


To Protect The Sheep

God's Answering of Our Prayers

A Sense of Proportion


For Those About To Be Married

Spiritual "Pact" Families

To See Through Angel Eyes

Start Where You Are

Have A Shining Window

The Reassertion Of The Will

God's Design

Children: Consider What Is Being Said To You

Reserve Faith For Jesus

Is Belief Right For You?

In The Beginning, Not The End

Against Radicalization


Pre-Reformation Times: How Shall They Hear With The Preacher?

The Sickness Of The Will

Insights For Young Athletes

Self-Destructive Reasoning

Count Them Happy Which Endure


Natural Law


Imperfections Of The Churches

To Asian Christians

Common Sense, Common Grace

The Roman Catholic Church

On Too Much Importance On Doctrines And Creeds

The Promptings Of Grace

Second Hand Grace

No Time For Creeds

A Junkyard of Grace

Mankind Needs The Balance Of Religion

Flavoring Grace

The Need For Universal Principles Of Morality

Keeping Body And Soul Together

Happiness And Sacrifice

Hell Defined

Grafting Ourselves To Christ

On Sustaining Civilization

Going Beyond Normalcy

Thy Will Be Done

Marriage By Nature And Grace

On Diversity

Why Toleration

Personal Immortality

Education Out Of Christ

The Way I Met God

Justified Sins

Give Grace Some Space

Homesick For heaven

Silence, Mysterious Silence

The Church: A River Of Grace

Shadow Or Substance

Christian Reasoning: From Grace To Grace

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Click on the Library of Writings links below to read more ...


A Season of Grace
Meditations dedicated to southern writer, Flannery O'Connor
I. Most Recent
II. Inspirational
III.  Evangelism
IV. Devotional
V. Baptism
VI. Epistolary
VII. Practical Theology
VIII. Spiritual Growth
IX. Inspirational History
X. Religious Education
XI. Prayers
XII. Sermons and Talks
XIII. Children's Sermons
XIV. Observations

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You may print three free copies apiece for non-commercial use

The works of Dr. James MacLeod are copyright © 2011 James Lewis MacLeod, All Rights Reserved