I had the privilege of reading G. K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy while on the beach. It is one of those classics I hadn’t gotten around to yet.
Written by G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy addresses foremost one main problem: How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it? Chesterton writes: He says, “I wish to set forth my faith as particularly answering this double spiritual need, the need for that mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar which Christendom has rightly named romance.”
This is G. K. Chesterton’s autobiography. It is his story of finding the familiar and unfamiliar in Christianity.
- I will not call it my philosophy; for I did not make it. God and humanity made it; and it made me (1-2).
- Like them I tried to be some ten minutes in advance of the truth. And I found that I was eighteen hundred years behind it (5).
- …the chief mark and element of insanity; we may say in summary that it is reason used without root, reason in the void (16).
- Christianity is centrifugal: it breaks out (18).
- If, in your bold creative way, you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a short neck, you will really find that you are not free to draw a giraffe. The moment you step into the world of facts, you step into a world of limits (29).
- …perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony…it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but he has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE (44-45).
- The Christian optimism is based on the fact that we do not fit in to the world (58).
- There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad (76).
- The mere minimum of the Church would be a deadly ultimatum to the world (82).
- The Titans did not scale heaven; but they laid waste the world (99).
- This is the amazing thing the religion did: it turned a sunken ship into a submarine (107).
- Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian (114).
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.