Sunday, February 27, 2011


Orthodoxy has been a great read! Having read most of C.S. Lewis' books it is easy to see how G.K. Chesterton influenced him for Christ. This isn't a book about rigorous Christian apologetics (and he reiterates that numerous times) but rather, a style of deep-thinking, common-sense, practical-life apologetical philosophy (a lot like C.S. Lewis). It is his testimony of how he, as a skeptic, found Christ through reason. He summarized agnosticism saying, "Christianity is rational but it is not simple. The ordinary agnostic has got his facts all wrong. He is a non-believer for a multitude of reasons but they are untrue reasons. He doubts because the middle ages were barbaric, but they weren’t, because Darwinism is demonstrated, but it isn’t, because miracles do not happen, but they do, because modern science is moving away from the supernatural but it isn’t; it is moving towards the supernatural with the rapidity of a railway train." Chesterton's ability to deduce life truths and crystalize them into paradoxical, common sense statements is unbelievable. One example is the following quote: "Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." His insight is tremendous. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this one: "The mere questioner has knocked his head against the limits of human thought and cracked it. The fact that he doubts everything gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything – for all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything." That is fairly typical of the entire book. He described his encounter with Jesus, saying, "I looked at the New Testament. There I found an account, not in the least of a person with his hair parted in the middle or his hands clasped in appeal but of an extraordinary being, with lips of thunder and acts of lurid decision, flinging down tables, casting out devils, passing with the wild secrecy of the wind from mountain isolation to a sort of dreadful demagogy. A person who often acted like an angry God and always like a God. The diction used about Christ has been, and perhaps wisely, sweet and submissive but the diction used by Christ is curiously gigantesque. It is full of camels leaping through needles and mountains hurled into the sea. He called Himself a sword of slaughter. That he used other, even wilder words on the side of non-resistance greatly increases the mystery but it also, if anything, rather increases the violence." Wow! I think this is a great book for every thinking Christian to read. It is thought provoking and poetically written. I hope you get a chance to read it. You can find the audible version (that I listened to) here or get it on Amazon here. I hope you enjoy it!

Finally, as I close out this post, here's one last Chesterton quote that will blow your mind! “You are free in our time to say that God doesn’t exist. You are free to say that He exists and is evil. You are free to say, like poor old Renault, that God would like to exist if He could. You may talk of God as a mystification or metaphor. You may boil him down with gallons of words or boil him down to the rags of metaphysics. And it is not merely that nobody punishes but that nobody protests. But if you speak of God as a thing like a tiger as a reason for changing one’s conduct, then the modern world will stop you if it can. We are long past talking about whether an unbeliever should be punished for being irreverent; it is now thought irreverent to be a believer.”

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