Thoroughly worldly people never understand even the world; they rely altogether on a fewcynical maxims which are not true. Once I remember walking with a prosperous publisher, who made a remark which I had often heard before; it is, indeed, almost a motto of themodern world. Yet I had heard it once too often, and I saw suddenly that there was nothingin it. The publisher said of somebody, "That man will get on; he believes in himself." And Iremember that as I lifted my head to listen, my eye caught an omnibus on which ...
Thoroughly worldly people never understand even the world; they rely altogether on a fewcynical maxims which are not true. Once I remember walking with a prosperous publisher, who made a remark which I had often heard before; it is, indeed, almost a motto of themodern world. Yet I had heard it once too often, and I saw suddenly that there was nothingin it. The publisher said of somebody, "That man will get on; he believes in himself." And Iremember that as I lifted my head to listen, my eye caught an omnibus on which waswritten "Hanwell." I said to him, "Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most inthemselves? For I can tell you. I know of men who believe in themselves more colossallythan Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success. I canguide you to the thrones of the Super-men. The men who really believe in themselves areall in lunatic asylums." He said mildly that there were a good many men after all whobelieved in themselves and who were not in lunatic asylums. "Yes, there are," I retorted,"and you of all men ought to know them. That drunken poet from whom you would nottake a dreary tragedy, he believed in himself. That elderly minister with an epic from whomyou were hiding in a back room, he believed in himself. If you consulted your businessexperience instead of your ugly individualistic philosophy, you would know that believingin himself is one of the commonest signs of a rotter. Actors who can't act believe inthemselves; and debtors who won't pay. It would be much truer to say that a man willcertainly fail, because he believes in himself. Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin;complete self-confidence is a weakness. Believing utterly in one's self is a hysterical andsuperstitious belief like believing in Joanna Southcote: the man who has it has `Hanwell'written on his face as plain as it is written on that omnibus." And to all this my friend thepublisher made this very deep and effective reply, "Well, if a man is not to believe inhimself, in what is he to believe?" After a long pause I replied, "I will go home and write abook in answer to that question." This is the book that I have written in answer to it
In Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton gives his defense for believing in Christianity in a world of scepticism. He also answers why the moral beliefs of the Christians of old still holds true today. Chapter 6, "The Paradoxes of Christianity" is one of my favorites; Chesterton writes of how Christian virtues that would seem to contradict each other, such as mercy and justice, can actually exist together without either losing their "ferocity." This is a great book for anyone who likes the writings of C.S. Lewis or wants to know the intellectual moorings of the Christian Faith.
Jun 13, 2010
Chesterton is a fantastic writer.I can't believe I wasn't exposed to him in college. He's scintilating,thought-provoking on every page.Quite an effective antidote to the prevailing liberalmaterialism,secularism,and greed that characterizes our age.
Mar 9, 2010
Review of Orthodoxy
Not so much a step-by-step handbook, more of a progressive recounting of the intellectual road to Truth, G. K. Chestertons ?Orthodoxy? is a classic for those who love to hear the Truth in fleshed out terms. In short, I simply loved it and could see from the first few pages why this work is a classic must read.
Much like C. S. Lewis (of whom I greatly admire), Chesterton is a wordsmith painting pictures, giving examples, drawing out the facts in real life form.
From ?The Suicide of Thought??
It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.
From ?The Flag of the World??
An imbecile habit has arisen in modern controversy of saying that such and such a creed can be held in one age but cannot be held in another. Some dogma, we are told, was credible in the twelfth century, but is not credible in the twentieth. You might as well say that a certain philosophy can be believed on Mondays, but cannot be believed on Tuesdays. You might as well say of a view of the cosmos that it was suitable to half-past three, but not suitable to half-past four. What a man can believe depends upon his philosophy, not upon the clock or the century.
From ?The Paradoxes of Christianity??
This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. 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.
I must limit the sections of this book that were my favorite otherwise I would include the entire book.
What a reasoning thinker Chesterton was? What was my take this great book? In a sentence I would have to say, his point that the dreamer who looks at the paradoxes in life and accepts them attributing all as gifts of God is far greater than the intellectual who would have this grand creation categorized, sequenced and number before accepting the Truth.
This is one book every christian should read. No excuse not to get this one read as you can read it HERE free from the Cyber Library of Leadership U. Recommended highly as I continue to re-read many sections.
Reviewed by: Keiki Hendrix
Reviewed for: The Vessel Project
Apr 18, 2009
Chesterton for Today
This book is great reading for anyone wanting to study christianity. He covers most subjects in an understandable way. Catholics should especially see what he has to say.
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