Thoroughly worldly people never understand even the world; they rely altogether on a few cynicalmaxims which are not true. Once I remember walking with a prosperous publisher, who made aremark which I had often heard before; it is, indeed, almost a motto of the modern world. Yet I hadheard it once too often, and I saw suddenly that there was nothing in it. The publisher said ofsomebody, "That man will get on; he believes in himself." And I remember that as I lifted my headto listen, my eye caught an omnibus on which was ...
Thoroughly worldly people never understand even the world; they rely altogether on a few cynicalmaxims which are not true. Once I remember walking with a prosperous publisher, who made aremark which I had often heard before; it is, indeed, almost a motto of the modern world. Yet I hadheard it once too often, and I saw suddenly that there was nothing in it. The publisher said ofsomebody, "That man will get on; he believes in himself." And I remember that as I lifted my headto listen, my eye caught an omnibus on which was written "Hanwell." I said to him, "Shall I tell youwhere the men are who believe most in themselves? For I can tell you. I know of men who believein themselves more colossally than Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star ofcertainty and success. I can guide you to the thrones of the Super-men. The men who really believein themselves are all in lunatic asylums." He said mildly that there were a good many men after allwho believed in themselves and who were not in lunatic asylums. "Yes, there are," I retorted, "andyou of all men ought to know them. That drunken poet from whom you would not take a drearytragedy, he believed in himself. That elderly minister with an epic from whom you were hiding in aback room, he believed in himself. If you consulted your business experience instead of your uglyindividualistic philosophy, you would know that believing in himself is one of the commonest signsof a rotter. Actors who can't act believe in themselves; and debtors who won't pay. It would bemuch truer to say that a man will certainly fail, because he believes in himself. Complete selfconfidence is not merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness. Believing utterly in one's selfis a hysterical and superstitious 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 in himself, in whatis he to believe?" After a long pause I replied, "I will go home and write a book in answer to thatquestion." 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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