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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 Many critics complained of the book because it merely criticised current philosophies without offering any alternative philosophy This book is an attempt to answer the challenge It is the purpose of the writer to attempt an explanation not of whether the Christian Faith can be believed but of how he personally has come to believe it The book is therefore arranged upon the positive principle of a riddle and its answer It deals first with all the writer's own solitary and sincere speculations and then with the startling style in which they were all suddenly satisfied by the Christian Theology The writer regards it as amounting to a convincing creed But if it is not that it is at least a repeated and surprising coincidence


10 thoughts on “Orthodoxy

  1. says:

    I bought it because I heard this uote recentlyA child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess not absence of life Because children have abounding vitality because they are in spirit fierce and free therefore they want things repeated and unchanged They always say Do it again; and the grown up person does it again until he is nearly dead For grown up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony But perhaps God is strong enough It is possible that God says every morning Do it again to the sun; and every evening Do it again to the moon It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike it may be that God makes every daisy separately but 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 weSo far the book is living up to my expectations Absolutely brilliant in approach style and process It is an autobiography of sorts Essays in apologetics of sorts Chesterton states it this way in the preface I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it I discovered that it was orthodoxyChesterton is a captivating author not only in the concepts presented but also in the way he tells them All that to say so far it's amazing You should read it


  2. says:

    I have to think of Chesterton as happy nitroglycerin This book sends your head up into the clouds while driving your feet deep into the earth It spins you dizzier than you've ever been yet makes you walk straighter than you've ever walked Read this first in 2007 again in 2011


  3. says:

    It is with extreme reluctance that I condemn this work as worthless The person who recommended it to me is one whose opinion and learning I respect greatlyChesterton seems to think although I'm not entirely sure of anything in this book inasmuch as the author refuses to write in anything but figurative language and metaphor In fact the term mixed metaphor is an entirely inappropriate descriptor One would need to use exponents to keep track of the metaphors and smilies that he heaps upon one another in the attempt to explain his position that Christianity has achieved some miraculous balance solved some insolvable paradox Just what sort of paradox? I'm not entirely sure He throws around labels like pessimist optimist anarchist agnostic atheist anti Christian Modernist rationalist mild rationalist pagan Christian Christian Scientist and uite many I assure you without ever deigning so much as to provide even rough definitions of what he means His argument is that Christianity leads to sanity and anyone who argues otherwise is a damn though thankfully not a damned fool Perhaps after all it is Christianity that is sane and all its critics that are mad 166But my favourite line has to be Our grandmothers were uite right when they said that Tom Paine and the free thinkers unsettled the mind They do They unsettled mine horribly 154 And it's those blasted free thinkers according to Chesterton who perpetrated this insidious and invidious idea that life itself is full of problems and uncertainty For shame It is only within the Christian context that one can find a worry free and jolly existence For you see Christianity solves all of life's mysterious contradictions for it is itself one giant and glorified contradiction And just how does Christianity function thus? Here it is straight from the horse's mouth All that I am urging here can be expressed by saying that Christianity sought to keep two colours co existent but pure It is not a mixture like russet or purple it is rather like a shot silk for a shot silk is always at right angles and is in the pattern of the cross 174 Now why didn't I think of that?


  4. says:

    This is an absolute must for either Catholics or Protestants as Chesterton addresses an aspect of mere Christianity it's profound and monumental common sensensicalness in a way that sparkles with wit humor and intellectual derring doIncidentally if you set yourself to reading it out loud you will put yourself through a training in diction and oral expression that far surpasses anything you could ever hire


  5. says:

    imagine walking into a dangerous and violent bar with the biggest baddest ufc champion ever to grace the octagon or walking into a house party with the hottest date ever or entering a church basketball tournament with an nba caliber ringer on your team i'm guessing that's what it would have felt like to walk with gk chesterton into a room full of skeptics and post modern christian haters okay that whole paragraph did not work but this book deserves credit for being mostly a pre modern work that predicts most of the 20th century


  6. says:

    Superb Finished it again in January 2017


  7. says:

    And though St John the Evangelist saw many strange monsters in his vision he saw no creature so wild as one of his own commentators It was natural perhaps that a modern Marxian Socialist should not know anything about free willThe new scientific society definitely discourages men from thinking about deathMr McCabe thinks me a slave because I am not allowed to believe in determinism But the Greeks were right when they made Apollo the god both of imagination and of sanity for he was both the patron of poetry and the patron of healing Descartes said I think therefore I am The philosophic evolutionist reverses and negatives the epigram He says I am not therefore I cannot thinkNietzsche started a nonsensical idea that men had once sought as good what we now call evil; Nietzsche who preached something that is called egoismPlato has told you a truth; but Plato is dead Shakespeare has startled you with an image; but Shakespeare will not startle you with any But imagine what it would be with such men still living A fierce catholic Chesterton never got into an university degree only attending an arts school He wrote around 4000 essays; kept his weekly column in a British newspaper for 30 years; and wrote many books; noteworthy the father Brown detective “series”; and this OrthodoxySome called him the apostle of common sense He was against materialism relativism atheism socialism and capitalism His focus was “the ordinary man” His values family and the catholic faith Alan Watts said of Chesterton he knew how to perceive the world like a child “an entirely new world”; he knew how to be child like; he somehow kept the “innocent view” On his style Watts recalled how Chesterton used non sense in his writings “the cosmic is the comic” Watts had read Chesterton when an adolescent and then he’d found “the sense of wonder” in the British author “Even God needs a surprise” You’ll find a world vision in Chesterton contrary to this “everything completely controlled” The Chesterton world is not the serious solemn grave with gravity world; but full of lightness; even frivolity Heaven is not that serious Satan is just a kind of prosecutor Dale Ahluist of the American Chesterton Society said when you read Orthodoxy for the first time you underline the text because you understand little it’s implied; then you’ve got to re read it; finally on the third trial things start to come together” Joseph Pearce acknowledged Chesterton had “gratitude and wonder” in his work; he could laugh at himself; his works “combine wisdom and innocence”Peter Kreeft joked about Chestertonhe leaves you feeling stupid I am on my first reading trial I know I’ll need other trialsSo far it looks solid these following assertions1 the book is an attempt to justify his Christian belief yet a “companion to heretics” Let us begin then with the mad house; from this evil and fantastic inn let us set forth on our intellectual journey2 the author has recourse to a sort of “absurd reduction” in the second chapter The Maniac when he admits he’s the “the fool of the story” in order to prove his point He’s discovered a NEW PERSPECTIVE It is as if an Englishman departed from his nation by ship to discover a new world; yet unknowingly he returns to his departure nation; he’s again on land thinking he’s found a new one in the South Seas and preparing to put the flag on the ground of Brighton; you can imagine how people are looking at him “I am that man”; looking like a fool 3 Chesterton won’t provide you with a set of “serious deductions” rather a mental picture; that’s his method The book was dedicated to his mother Chesterton and wifeUPDATE; beatification of Chesterton why not?Check here A Most Unlikely SaintThe case for canonizing G K Chesterton the bombastic man of letters and paradoxical militant for Godin December 2016


  8. says:

    A complex work of great scope that I will need to read a few times Chesterton uses metaphors to explain the meaning of his theses and the reader must work to comprehend what they signify on different levels I find it amazing that this was first published in 1908 Its ideas refer to but are so independent from the philosophies of that time as though it were written today looking back on them rather than their contemporaryI'll not write a comprehensive review but just wish to list some of the things that particularly impressed me on first reading Chesterton asserts that the only fitting way for us to consider the world is with a sense of wonder Thus the world of fairy tales with its magic and mystery is closer to reality than the most naturalistic world described by science I agree I need to think about this some Then rather than focusing on the limitations placed on us in the world we should consider the greatness of the world that has been given to us with this whole world at our disposal is it not natural that there should be a limit the very boundaries of which ensure that we can 'dance and play on the top of the hill without the worry of falling off the cliff' boundaries which allow us to live most fully and without fear?On another theme he asserts that the problem with contemporary literature is that it is often centred around extraordinary strange protagonists who do even strange things and so the reader finds them uninteresting because they cannot relate to them The classics he counters wrote about ordinary people who did extraordinary things and so they are interesting and the reader can relate The same thought had occurred to me when bored with a contemporary novel why does the protagonist have to be so strange? And the contemporary stories I love I now realise are often based on an ordinary character who has the courage to do something extraordinary This would be worth exploring further an article perhaps And I loved the last chapters when he writes with wonder of the person of Jesus shown in the Gospels a God who is not afraid to let his tears be seen and sometimes his anger and yet who has a certain shyness and reserve that gives him an intriguing attractive depth I've often thought the sameAnd so many ideas that I'll need to consider slowly


  9. says:

    When I first started reading this book I was dumbfounded and I uickly sensed my vulnerability I’m used to reading challenging authors who work hard to drop kick your old paradigms and hold you teeth down to the grinding concrete they’re speeding recklessly over in pursuit of truth I can sense when an author is sliding towards sensationalism and theatrics in his attempt to convince readers that their life is a sham and essentially a waste of time I even like it when authors do that because I become so desensitized to it that much of authors’ fervent exhortation comes across my ‘reader’s block’ as hardly a compunctive tickle But Chesterton called by Philip Yancey the ‘prophet of mirth’ for his playful manner plays cat and mouse with his audience just about as well as I’ve ever experienced He really spooked me initially and though I think I finally fought my way out from under the crushing weight of some of HIS untenable theses with some of my ideas intact yet I’m not sure I’m the same person Chesterton makes you feel like you've never done any real thinking before this moment or that until now you have been evading the truth all along to coddle your pet delusions Remember those annoying kids from 3rd grade who would wait until you were resting your chin on your hand and they’d ever so slightly bump your elbow knocking out your chin rest? Well I was one of those annoying kids and I relished observing the resulting shift in balance that was enough to make the whole body jerk as it overcompensated to stay in charge It is precisely in this way that Chesterton wakes a person from their philosophical stupor—by relentlessly poking at an idea that may not seem to underpin the whole system but the whole comes crashing down to reveal what a small unlikely pitiful rivet held it all tenuously together He is a jester that playfully and ironically disarms his opponents then urbanely turns their own weapons against them to reveal the sharpness or dullness of their own points There were times while reading that I found my arguments suddenly naked and defenseless before the might of even his most flippant tongue in cheek remarks I loved and hated itThe reason why I hated it is obvious—it’s uncomfortable and cumbrous to get through because it’s so startlingly fresh and painfully alive—like rich blood to a sleepy limb But he's fighting for us He asserts our right as common men and women mundane thinkers but strong in action to make decisions befitting kings and ueens of creation We are born into a world that we must first be loyal to because we are grateful but we must also reform it into what it was meant to become We have the right to dream and we have the duty to act and this is exactly what Chesterton's ideas free us to do If there was ever a person that felt cowered by the giants of secular academics bloated with information or left behind by the awful speed of cerebral athletes—then Chesterton is flying his beautiful banner of ideological democracy over youMy negative critiue would touch on Chesterton's defense of Christianity as if it were the only thing of its type In one sense it is but only inasmuch as every religion is a uniue blend of conservatism and progressivisim of thinking and action of love and truth If Christianity is special as a balance of the gamut then BhudismIslam can be thanked for being the extremes that help define the moderate although I’m sure every belief system prefers to view itself as the mean and not the extreme I'm not in agreement with the broad strokes which Chesterton paints non Christian religions with but I do love his idea of the perfectly balanced belief system Christianity in his mind being a precise balance of 'furious opposites' This is nothing new in philosophical thought Aristotle has his virtues Hegel his dialectics Jung his tension of opposites; but Chesterton's idea is somewhat original in that it preserves the full energy of his ‘opposites’ in euilibrium instead of abating their energies at an impasseI wasn’t sure about the title when I began this book and I received different perspectives as to whether or not Chesterton meant it to be tongue in cheek But in my opinion the author’s label is spot on It is an authentically orthodox perspective but with an original expression of its rationale There was nothing he espoused in the course of the book that wouldn’t accord with the Apostolic creed or with a fundamentalist approach to faith He describes his journey to discover faith as much nearer in actuality to a rediscovery of orthodoxy much in the same way that a seafarer arrives back on his own continent of departure unawares all the while thinking he discovered a new land This work is indeed a reaffirmation of general orthodoxy of Catholic doctrine specifically but his approach is extremely clever having the power to make his audience appreciate the role of tradition and orthodoxy that may be already present in their lives In the end I not only appreciated this book but I felt that is was a wonderful reclamation of lost truth Truth is not only discovered afar off through a telescope like a land we are journeying towards but it is brought out from a back shelf and dusted off dug up and unlocked from right beneath our feet Truth is here A Chesterton like appreciation of orthodoxy democracy and tradition all the same thing in his mind might be in order for our generation of neophiles who are grasping for the far reaches of space and losing what they have here to be crusted over with the slow deposit of forgetfulness and one day make rediscovery of local truth seem like landing in a new world


  10. says:

    I first read this in 1975 It was a life saver then Not sure how many times I have read it since but Nancy and I just finished reading it aloud together May 2013 Fantastic as always