Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Orthodoxy, Chesterton

 I find this to be a good summary of the book:

An influential Christian author of the 20th century, G.K. Chesterton wrote Orthodoxy as a defense of the Christian faith. Meant to be a companion to Chesterton's Heretics, Orthodoxy constructs an "alternative philosophy" to the philosophies of the time. Chesterton explains both why he believes that Orthodox Christianity best explains human existence, and why he does not find other philosophies convincing. However, in defending Christianity, Chesterton does not avoid the paradox, wonder, or mystery of Christianity either. After all Orthodoxy is--as the author himself notes--also a spiritual and intellectual autobiography as well, with Chesterton providing illustrations and examples from his own life. In fact, because of the autobiographical element, many readers are pleasantly surprised by the wit and humor with which he tackles the difficult subjects in Christianity. An important defense of Christianity, G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy is a highly recommended, powerful, and winsome book.

Chesterton is an author and thinker that I would love to love -- yet I find him challenging and not nearly as entertaining as many do. I do enjoy many quotations of his work. 

"A Christian is only restricted in the same sense an atheist is restricted. He cannot think Christianity to be false and still be a Christian; and an atheist cannot think atheism to be false and still be an atheist". 

"The sane man knows that he has a touch of the beast, a touch of the devil, a touch of the saint, a touch of the citizen. Nay, the sane man knows that he has a touch of the madman. But the materialists world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane". 

In this age of rampant virtue signalling it is hard to beat; "The modern age is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad".  In reading history, it is entertaining to see that it is always "modern"', which is naturally true.  It is always "modern". "Wokeism", Identity Politics, Mask Shaming and a host of other "modern" maladies are exactly moralism, puritanism, and The Scarlet Letter. The more mankind runs away, the more he runs into himself. 

It is a well loved work and I understand why, it is just "not my cup of tea" and I lament that fact.


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