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by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Download Orthodoxy eBook
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
BiblioBazaar (March 8, 2007)
156 pages
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Gilbert Keith Chesterton Orthodoxy. This book is meant to be a companion to "Heretics," and to put the positive side in addition to the negative

Orthodoxy (1908) is a book by G. K. Chesterton that has become a classic of Christian apologetics

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by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

Gilbert keith chesterton. Orthodoxy By G. Chesterton.

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This book is meant to be a companion to Heretics and to put the positive side in addition to the negative.
  • Kare
I have read almost 4 books by G. K. Chesterton thus far; and Orthodoxy is a masterpiece. The best of what I have read from him yet. Witty, hilarious, intellectually astute--Chesterton is in fine form throughout. And though Orthodoxy is heady you will find that Chesterton's humor and skill with the pen makes it an almost addictive read. His paradoxical manner of framing big ideas, his undeniable ability to wield "common" sense as a weapon, his way of speaking to universal human experiences--together makes him one of the most enjoyable writers of his time. And he's not pulling any punches with the philosophers of his day either.

In the introduction, Chesterton self-deprecatingly describes himself as a man who sent out from England to explore new lands, but gets blown off course in his travels and unknowingly arrives back in downtown London--where he then proceeds to claim this "new land" for England! Chesterton then charts his spiritual journey from agnosticism to Christianity and how he unknowingly discovered this "new doctrine" on his own--only to find out, much to his surprise, that it was nothing more than the old Christian doctrine which has been believed for thousands of years. Chesterton is a late comer to the party, and he doesn't mind admitting that fact throughout!

Chesterton rails against intellectualism--against the scholastics and against the George Bernard Shaw types. The atheist scientist who says there is no transcendent meaning to this thing called life. Grown up skeptics and modernized "experts" who care little for the world. In short Chesterton realizes that the fairy tales that he knew as a child, that wonder he felt within the deepest part of him when he was young, the feeling that the grass was green because it was "supposed to be green"--were actually all true. The reason the tales of the lady and the dragon, or jack and the beanstalk resonated with him so much as a child because they spoke to a certain human truth--an internal testimony, that there is something more than just molecules and chance. There had to be something more. So Chesterton figures out an understanding of original sin, of creation, of a transcendent God, and of the archetypal tale because it was really true--the story of God coming into the world to bring man back to Himself. Chesterton is unabashedly romantic, and he rejoices to find that Christianity is as well.

In the chapter that perhaps hit me the hardest (The Flag of the World), Chesterton confronts exactly what our posture as Christians needs to be towards the world. It cannot be escapism or pessimism; an unhealthy desire to withdraw from the darkness of the world: "For our Titanic purposes of faith and revolution, what we need is not the cold acceptance of the world as a compromise, but some way in which we can heartily hate and heartily love it. We do not want joy and anger to neutralize each other and produce a surly contentment; we want a fiercer delight and a fiercer discontent. We have to feel the universe at once as an ogre' castle, to be stormed, and yet as our own cottage, to which we can return at evening." Wow. That is romance in writing--and ointment to my own personal numbness. Another one: "The point is not that this world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more." "A man's friend leaves him as he is: his wife loves him and is always trying to turn him into somebody else."

This is a great book, and I am already doing a second pass through it because there is so much in it that I missed. Chesterton is medicinal to the ills of a modern world--and Orthodoxy in particular has lost no degree of relevance in the century that has past since its composition.
  • Bluecliff
What I love about this book is Chesterton's well-reasoned arguments and his writing style. His arguments are down-to-Earth with a universal appeal - there's no high-brow, mind-bending gymnastics here. He's as straight-forward about explaining his thinking and reasoning as is that marvelous character he created in his Father Brown fictional murder mystery stories.

There was at least one point of religious thought I don't agree with Chesterton about, but he makes me think - about things and in ways I didn't think on my own. And a couple of things that gave me pause, I had to change my mind about by the time I was finished with the book.

Oh - there's this other thing. Even if you don't care about Christian apologetics, read this for the language. It is beautiful. It is tasty. It is so satisfying! This book is an intellectual delight, but written for the ordinary person on the street. It is not like a spiritually edifying book read for inspiration. You might think about things not thought of before. You certainly will marvel at how his brain worked and his language use. Enjoy!
  • felt boot
Finished this one today. This is another one that I have had to take slowly. The genius of G.K. Chesterton is well noted, but this the first of his writing that I have ever had the chance to read. This is widely considered to be one of his two greatest works, and I can see why. The book is a defense of the doctrine of the church, commonly referred to as The Apostles' Creed. Written to overcome agnostic, humanist, and scientific arguments against the doctrine. Using paradoxes, comparisons, history, and facts, Chesterton defends the point that the Creed is not dull, dark and restrictive, but is in fact interesting, bright and liberating. His intellect is so far ahead of an average guy like me, that I had to read this slowly, and will need to read it again. If you're not a regular reader, you may not want to start with this one.
  • Buriwield
In Orthodoxy G.K. Chesterton applies his prodigious intellect to dismantle modern thought and expose it for its utter emptiness. If you wonder where our modern philosophies are leading us read this book. Chesterton has a well thought out critique of modern trends that are undermining our culture. He uses all his wit and his mastery of the English language to make a case for a return to the original Christian underpinnings of Western culture which he calls orthodoxy. The Christian church formed Western Civilization out of the pagan culture of the Greco-Roman world. It taught us that we live in a universe that has a creator. It taught us that we are beings that are a composite of the material and the spiritual realm. We have free will to choose between the good or the bad. In other words we don't live in a hopeless, meaningless universe at the mercy of an eternal chain of cause and effect. Orthodox Christian belief tells us that life has a purpose, that we make choices that lead us to eternal damnation or eternal happiness. A culture based on orthodox Christian philosophy is a saner culture, a more artistic culture, a more rational culture, a more natural culture.
  • Garne
I have been re reading this book regularly since the 1970's, when a copy "jumped" off a library shelf at me. The Kindle version makes it easier to find the good quotes I half remember but I'm never so sharp as the originals. For instance "Touchstone talked of much virtue in an 'if': according to elfin ethics, all virtue is in an 'if'...they may live in glass houses IF they will not throw stones" A bright and enticing introduction to Christianity, which I found helpful as a beginner, and comforting still 40 years later. It is poetic writing, not in the modern abbreviated style, and well worth the little effort it takes to read and love.