Ideas about the Universe not welcome

I’m on another GK Chesterson fling, this time Heretics. The quote of the day:

But there is one thing that is infinitely more absurd and unpractical than burning a man for his philosophy. This is the habit of saying that his philosophy does not matter, and this is done universally in the twentieth century, …. General theories are everywhere contemned; the doctrine of the Rights of Man is dismissed with the doctrine of the Fall of Man. Atheism itself is too theological for us to-day. Revolution itself is too much of a system; liberty itself is too much of a restraint. We will have no generalizations. … A man’s opinion on tramcars matters; his opinion on Botticelli matters; his opinion on all things does not matter. He may turn over and explore a million objects, but he must not find that strange object, the universe; for if he does he will have a religion, and be lost. Everything matters—except everything.

Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith) (2011-03-30). Heretics (p. 2). Kindle Edition.

I like the note that “Liberty itself is too much of a restraint.” More and more this appears to be true in a world that seeks to throw off any and every restraint, both man and God-made. A lack of thoughtfulness about our lives and lifestyles sadly describes most American Christians, I’d guess, somewhat judgmentally. We settle comfortably down to watch our shows and leave out the Big Questions, that Chesterton was writing about.

An essay by Wendell Berry in Harper’s Magazine some years ago, at the very beginning of the economic crisis, “Faustian Economics” nails this (disclaimer: it’s pretty deep; the beginning is gripping and then he gets deep fast). But the gist is: we human being need limits, we’re made to have limits, and building an economy and society around the rejection of limits, as we’ve done and are doing, is insanity. He’s right. And we’d best join with Chesterton in re-thinking Everything.


Want to Leave a Reply?

Edit translation
Machine translation (Google):
Loading...
Copy to editor
or Cancel