Orthodoxy, by G. K. Chesterton

November 24, 2010 at 01:46 (Book Reviews, Highly Rated Books, Theology) (, , , )


Of all the apologetics and all the essays for or against Christianity, it is deliciously refreshing to read Chesterton’s work, and find there a man who is so marvellously content to thumb his nose at the world, and yet say so clearly that, for those who want to know, this is the truth.

His writing bears the superb equanimity of one who really does not care if his logic has holes in it – for it is true enough. His theology is incomplete and immature, but it is enough for him to catch a glimpse of the God who became a man, and with that glimpse he is more delighted than he could be with any amount of reasoning or sound doctrine.

Chesterton is a haphazard theological writer at best, but he rightly denounces the label of flippancy that has been flung at him, preferring to simply admit that he does not know everything – but that what he does know is enough. He does not need to have a full grounding in Darwinism to see its absurdities (for his intention is not to make a mockery of opposing philosophies, but to unveil their existing contradictions and follies), and he does not need to be a political scientist to dismiss the grandeur of empire. He does not need to be an avid student of Confucius or Hinduism in order to lay bare their hypocrisies, or worse – their naked and unabashed failures.

Orthodoxy is not an apologetic, and does not open up the scriptures nearly enough to be safely called a great study of theology. Instead, it is an autobiography of Chesterton, in which he relives his life and takes his reader along for the journey, pointing out this philosophical milestone, or that sudden epiphany, and insists its reader take stock of the Christianity of the Bible, for no other reason than it makes sense, and that all evidence in the world, and even in opposing doctrines, point unequivocally to Christ.


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