Tag Archives: G.K. Chesterton
True, the visuals are stunning. But as G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate. This gives to the typically Christian pleasure in this earth a strange touch of lightness that is almost frivolity.” (Orthodoxy ). Nature, too, is fallen (as C.S. Lewis adds) and Scripture teaches that nature itself groans for the New Heavens and the New Earth (Romans 8). (Click on the following for a great article on “Mother Nature” by Gary L. Welton):
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936), better known as G. K. Chesterton, was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. Chesterton is often referred to as the “prince of paradox“. Time magazine has observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.”
Chesterton is well known for his fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and for his reasoned apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an “orthodox” Christian, and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, his “friendly enemy”, said of him, “He was a man of colossal genius.” Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and John Ruskin.
One of my favorite Chesterton quotes is the following. He is discussing the issue of certainty and truthfulness: “But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. . . . We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.” (G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pp. 31-32). (your comments?)
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with prayer. I guess I see it as a passive, last-chance option. But prayer is never portrayed that way in the Bible. I really need to train my mind and heart to see prayer as one of the believer’s greatest weapons — a tool to be used against discouragement, confusion, and uncertainty.
Jonah was pretty certain he was going to drown. But then God saved him! Prayer gave Jonah the opportunity to reflect on his distress and his banishment from God. [I’m not sure Jonah’s heart ever really changes as we’ll see in chapter 4.]
What difference would it make if I looked at my life as one which had been “brought up from the pit” (v. 6)? Do you feel that your life is “ebbing away”? Not a one of us is going to escape death (unless the Lord returns). Aren’t you glad you’re reading this blog this morning?
What is crystal clear to Jonah is that IDOLATRY is foolish! He says, “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” (v. 8). IDOLATRY or GOD’S LOVE — your choice. And mine.
G.K. Chesterton said it best: “He who does not believe in God will believe in anything.” But we’re not in danger of idolatry, are we? (to be continued)
The theme this year of the “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference at Emmaus Bible College is ‘Training for Godliness” and the plenary sessions will be focusing on I Timothy 4-6. My two workshop topics are: “Guarding and Discarding: The Keys to Sound Theology (1 Timothy 6:20-21)” and “Sanctified Hedonism: The Case for “Worldly Saints” (1 Timothy 4:1-5).”
These false teaches are into forbidding — They forbid people to marry (which the Creator blessed in Genesis and the Lord Jesus in the gospels) and they restrict what people can eat! These negative values actually express several ungodly attitudes:
(1) unthankfulness: Both marriage and culinary variety were created by God to be enjoyed!
(2) a denial of the goodness of creation: Everything God created is good. Nothing (that is not sinful) is to be rejected IF it is received with thanksgiving!
But the material world (marriage and food) needs to be consecrated! How does this happen? By “the word of God and prayer.” As we are into God’s Word (allowing Him to speak to us) and prayer (giving us the opportunity to speak to Him), these two disciplines cause us to receive His good gifts with thanksgiving.
In his article “The Problem of Pleasure,” Phillip Yancey quotes G.K. Chesterton as saying, “I felt in my bones, first that this world does not explain itself. . . . Second, I came to feel as if magic must have a meaning, and meaning must have some one to. mean it. There was something personal in the world, as in a work of art. . . . Third, I thought this purpose beautiful in its old design, in spite of its defects, such as dragons. Fourth, that the proper form of thanks to it is some form of humility and restraint: we should thank God for beer and Burgundy by not drinking too much of them. . . . And last, and strangest, there had come into my mind a vague and vast impression that in some way all good was a remnant to be stored and held sacred out of some primordial ruin. Man had saved his good as [Robinson] Crusoe saved his goods: he had saved them from a wreck. All this I felt and the age gave me no encouragement to feel it. And all this time I had not even thought of Christian theology.”
We know the God who gave us marriage and food and everything else! Thank Him for His good gifts today!
One of the reasons I love Calvin & Hobbes is that Watterson puts his finger on many of the real issues of daily existence. As far as I know, he has not found the answers in living a Christ-honoring life, but I’m grateful for his clarity and practicality in showing us the problems!
G.K. Chesterton said, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” “Wanting” in the sense in which Chesterton is using it means “lacking.” I fear that many have tried some watered-down version of Christianity which hasn’t “worked” for them — and they’ve simply walked away.
Real Christianity, involving a real Jesus and a real Bible and a real God, offers so much more! And it offers forgiveness when “we make a big mess of things”!
G.K. Chesterton put it this way: “. . . the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.”
1. Something can be wild without being evil. What wildness in your life has been domesticated, muted, tamed?
2. What good things in your life are allowed to “run wild” if you are a believer in Jesus?