Orthodoxy I: Introduction in Defence of Everything Else

orth5“I have often had a fancy for writing a romance about an English yachtsman who slightly miscalculated his course and discovered England under the impression that it was a new island in the South Seas… There will probably be an impression that the man who landed (armed to the teeth and talking by signs) to plant the British flag on that barbaric temple which turned out to be the Pavilion at Brighton, felt rather a fool… What could be more glorious than to brace one’s self up to discover New South Wales and then realize, with a gush of happy tears, that it really was old South Wales. How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it? … how can this world give us at once the fascination of a strange town, and the comfort and honour of being our own town? … 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 Christianity has rightly named romance.”

Following you will find pages and observations from all nine chapters of Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, written in 1908.  Chesterton was a writer, journalist, defender of the Christian faith, and author of mystery novels, such as the Father Brown Chronicles and The Man Who Was Thursday, among others.

As a special feature, there are a few famous passages the Ravi Zacharias (www.rzim.org) can be heard quoting, so I mark these with <RAVI MOMENT # x> Find them all! 🙂

We conclude with some more material from the opening chapter:

“For if this book is a joke it is a joke against me. I am the man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before. If there is an element of farce in what follows, the farce is at my own expense; for this book explains how I fancied I was the first to set foot in Brighton and then found I was the last. It recount my elephantine adventures in pursuit of the obvious. No one can think my case more ludicrous than I think it myself; no reader can accuse me here of trying to make a fool of him; I am the fool of this story, and no rebel shall hurl me from my throne.”

“I freely confess all the idiotic ambitions of the end of the nineteenth century. I did, like all other solemn little boys, try to be in advance of the age. 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 … When I fancied that I stood alone I was really in the ridiculous position of being backed up by all Christendom. It may be, heaven forgive me, that I did try to be original; but I only succeeded in inventing all by myself an inferior copy of the existing traditions of civilized religion. The man from he yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. 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 orthodoxy.”

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Next: Orthodoxy II: The Maniac

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