Orthodoxy

One of the great features of an iPod is the Kindle app. I’ve been pulling old classics off the Internet and actually reading them, instead of just saying I should (ok, I’m still stuck at about 20% of Moby Dick; it’s hard). So lately I’ve been reading Orthodoxy, by GK Chesterton, and it is indeed good. Chesterton is one of those authors that everyone quotes and talks about how great he is. I think he’s meeting expectations. Orthodoxy isn’t really what I expected–rather than being a sort of theology primer, it’s kind of a personalized apology for the faith, looking at issues that were important to Chesterston’s own arrival at the Christian faith. He likens his journey to a man sailing to discovery a new country, and ending up the last to arrive where everyone else already is. “I am the man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been
discovered before.” What makes the book especially interesting is that Chesterton is sailing philosophical waters that have led to contemporary post-modernism–and is anticipating the destination of the thought of his age. His influence, or at least, shared thinking, with C.S. Lewis is evident in his reflections about fairies and beauty in “The Ethics of Elfland”. My goal isn’t to write a complete review here, but only to set the stage for posting some good quotes. As follows from chapter VIII, “The Romance of Orthodoxy”…

The Catholic Church believed that man and God both had a sort of spiritual freedom. Calvinism took away the freedom from man, but left it to God. Scientific materialism binds the Creator Himself; it chains up God as the Apocalypse chained the devil. It leaves nothing free in the universe. And those who assist this process are called the “liberal theologians.”

Freedom of all types was obviously one of Chesterton’s dearly held values. To which I say, “Amen”.


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