ORTHODOXY. GILBERT K. CHESTERTON. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., IV. THE ETHICS OF ELFLAND. Two "definitions" of liberalism follow, because. Free ebooks for G K Chesterton. Free e-books by G K Chesterton. The home of free pdf and prc (mobibook) Orthodoxy [pdf] [prc]. Poems [pdf] [prc]. Download this Christian classic by G.K. Chesterton and share it with your leadership team. In Orthodoxy, Chesterton describes his reasons for Christian faith with Free PDF: “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Portuguese|
|ePub File Size:||24.37 MB|
|PDF File Size:||15.60 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Regsitration Required]|
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Orthodoxy, by G. K. Chesterton This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions. Project Gutenberg · 59, free ebooks · 59 by G. K. Chesterton. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton. No cover available. Download; Bibrec. Orthodoxy, by G. K. Chesterton. Adobe PDF icon. Download this document as a. pdf: File size: MB What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read.
Diana Olivar. If you want, you can write down references as you pass them, and then look them up at the end of the chapter. Using some particular examples of modernism, discuss whether it is really true that Christianity even when watered down is hot enough to boil all modern society to rags . Thus, the book is filled with references to contemporary politics and persons which are now rather obscure this is to say nothing of the sundry classical culture inclusions with which Chesterton and his contemporaries were naturally much more familiar a sign of the decadence into which liberal arts education has fallen! This is evidence itself that Chesterton did not regard himself as a timeless sage for posterity, but merely as a journalist putting forth his quota of words.
Whatever the critics of Christianity have to say about it, they are never consistent in their criticism, but bring vastly different charges against it. We are told that Christianity is gloomy yet too optimistic, timid or monkish yet the mother of wars, too parochial with creeds that divide yet too broad to deal with each local situation, too ascetical and austere, yet celebrating too many feasts and festivals.
And it was this uniqueness that led Chesterton into the distinct paradoxes of orthodoxy: As I read and re-read all the non-Christian or anti-Christian accounts of the faith, from Huxley to Bradlaugh [we might add Dawkins to Hitchens], a slow and awful impression grew gradually but graphically upon my mind—the impression that Christianity must be a most extraordinary thing. For not only as I understood had Christianity the most flaming vices, but it had apparently a mystical talent for combining vices which seemed inconsistent with each other.
And 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. As Chesterton discovered the exclusive place of Christ in the cosmos, he concluded his book with the exclusive love of the hopeless romantic.
And it was this romantic beauty that struck me as well, as I read it for the first time. For it included the adventure missing from my own cramped spiritual life in a fundamentalist church. The great Apostle Paul was more of an argument to me than a saint whose personal intercessions connected me with a living God.
The Church across the street from ours was referred to as the competition, vying with us for the prize of more communicants. With such an anemic view of Christian community, I swooned over the way Chesterton talked about the communion of the saints in the living Church: The Christian Church in its practical relation to my soul is a living teacher, not a dead one.
It not only certainly taught me yesterday, but will almost certainly teach me tomorrow Plato has told you a truth; but Plato is dead. Shakespeare has startled you with an image; but Shakespeare will not startle you with any more. But imagine what it would be to live with such men still living, to know that Plato might break out with an original lecture tomorrow, or that at any moment Shakespeare might shatter everything with a single song.
The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church is a man always expecting to meet Plato and Shakespeare tomorrow at breakfast. On the day I read those immortal and life-changing words, I was in a deep spiritual crisis. For like Blessed Augustine of Hippo, I had become convinced of the error of my deeply held beliefs, but I was not yet ready to fully embrace the teachings of the Church: That they were falsehoods became apparent to me only afterward I had not yet discovered that [the Catholic Church] taught the truth, but I now knew that it did not teach what I had so vehemently accused it of For all this time I restrained my heart from assenting to anything, fearing to fall headlong into error.
Instead, by this hanging in suspense, I was being strangled. For my desire was to be as certain of invisible things as I was that seven and three are ten. How am I to explain this discrepancy? Alas, I cannot offer irrefutable proofs as to why anyone should choose one church over another, certainly not after I have been so unfaithful to the True Bride most of my life. I can only say excitedly along with the Samaritan woman, St.
Could this be the Christ? John Chrysostom. One of the books was strangely written by a Roman Catholic and yet had the title of the Church to which we both were leaning.
But why the Orthodox Church? Why not Rome? I will conclude with the words of the Great Prince Vladimir, who over years ago sent emissaries all over the world to find out how other nations worshipped. Notice, he did not chiefly inquire about belief but about the practice of belief. After giving disparaging reports of Muslims, Jews, and yea even the German Catholics probably would have been better off with the French or Italians , his envoys famously concluded: For on earth there is no such splendor or such beauty, and we are at a loss how to describe it.
We only know that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. For we cannot forget that beauty. He goes beyond that. He makes you laugh. General Overview Orthodoxy was first published on 25 September It is a response to a challenge provoked by the work, Heretics, as Chesterton points out in the introduction .
Chestertons arrival at Christian orthodox theology by means of natural reason and philosophical consideration. Chestertons thesis is that, while one might find scattered and secular truths outside of orthodoxy, Christianity is the one real truth-telling thing ; therefore, Christian orthodoxy is the one source and measure of Truth at which the roads of sane rational thought and inspired practical faith both converge.
General Style Chestertons argument is presented in the order that its facets became clear to him, chronologically.
Orthodoxy may, then, fairly be called a sort of slovenly autobiography . The arguments motivate because of their visceral relevance to common sense and ordinary experience, if not because of their logical progression and structure. Rather than ordering a list of premises, Chesterton piles hues upon textures in the composition of vignettes meant to charm and romance the reader as much as convince him.
Simply stated, one might say that Chesterton does not so much describe the thing as he found it in any clinical sense; rather, he endeavors to show and introduce that Thing to his readers. Acknowledging a Difficulty: Nothing but Quotations! Dale Ahlquistiii recounts a story of Chestertons about a lady who went to see Hamlet.
Upon coming out from the play, she remarked, Why, the play was nothing but quotations! Ahlquist goes on: They underline almost every sentence in the book, and then at the end of the book they realize, What was that about?
What did I just read? Because theyve lost the flow of his argument; because all of his sub-points, all of his supportive points are so great as quotations as crystallized thoughts that just zing you [that] you lose the train of the larger picture that hes putting together. The Frame of Fleet Street: A Bit of Advice for Reading Orthodoxy was sold to the publisher for a flat This is evidence itself that Chesterton did not regard himself as a timeless sage for posterity, but merely as a journalist putting forth his quota of words.
That is not to say that he was insincere in any way; rather, it should call attention to his extremely sincere. Grabowski MMIX humility. Due to Chestertons underestimation of his own timelessness, he took little care not to date his work.
Thus, the book is filled with references to contemporary politics and persons which are now rather obscure this is to say nothing of the sundry classical culture inclusions with which Chesterton and his contemporaries were naturally much more familiar a sign of the decadence into which liberal arts education has fallen!
The novice Chesterton reader can be intimidated by these rich allusions. A useful coping mechanism is to get a good annotated edition of the work.
However, even there some references will be taken for granted. Some advice for reading Chesterton is that when you come across a fact or figure you dont understand, simply read on! Like a word which we do not know, the meaning of these references can often be inferred from the context. Thus, we may not know who George Bernard Shaw is by the end of the paragraph, but we will probably have gathered what type of man he is.
A useful metaphor for this method is to see the dated contemporaneity of Chestertons style as a frame surrounding a picture of timeless quality and beauty.
I call this the frame of Fleet Street, the street which epitomized the literary culture of Chestertons day. The point is that this frame only adds to the picture in a superficial way it is not essential. This is true; but I consider it a small price to pay for being able to read along with the fluidity of the argument, which method usually proves more enjoyable.
If you want, you can write down references as you pass them, and then look them up at the end of the chapter. This way, you can gain the full understanding of the passage on a second pass without having sacrificed the enjoyment of a straight readthrough the first time. With one foot in Fleet Street, so to speak, and the other in the Garden of Eden, [Chesterton] went to work.
James Parker vi. Grrabowskii J G abowsk Introduction in Defense of Everything Else Given premise: We need to be happy in this wonderland without once being merely comfortable .
Reason will strive to achieve this romance by means of philosophy. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits .
Modern thought is lunacy The Suicide of Thought Having shown reason without humility to be madness, Chesterton now shows the excess of humility in reason to be folly. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped . Academic Skepticism Doubt is the only means to ascertaining truth; but doubt applied to reason falsifies all proceedings. Nietzscheism Since reason is unreliable, there is only the will .
Quietism Reason is unreliable, so the will also must be relinquished as ungoverned .
Religious authority avoids the self-destruction of post-Enlightenment thought by keeping reason interwoven into faith, a seamless garment . The point is that it is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all .
The Ethics of Elflandv Chesterton goes on to show how the modern ethics deriving from modern thought is also unsatisfactory.
Chesterton summarizes himself at the chapters end : Can I thank no one for the birthday present of birth? We should be grateful that there is anything at all. Fourth and related , we owe thanks by humility, restraint, and obedience. The fairy godmother philosophy . Fifth, all good was a remnant to be stored and held sacred out of some primordial ruin.
The Flag of the World Chesterton now demonstrates how his ethics centered on gratitude must be seen in light of the previously established tension between faith and reason; neither optimism nor pessimism, the ethics of Elfland gives birth to a sentiment both sufficiently critical and laudatory LOYALTY .
Christianity held this tension of loyalty to life and the world alongside the recognition of a need to REFORM ; and Chesterton found the Doctrine of the FALL to be the key  God had made the world good, like a play, but things had gone awry : The Paradoxes of Christianity This unique and complex tensionality at the heart of Christianity gives it a peculiar shape, like a specific key made to fit the complex lock of the world . Chesterton was intrigued that even Christianitys opponents, in spite of themselves, gave testimony to its singularity.
Criticisms were contradictory e. Chesterton realized that this paradox set up a sort of ultimatum: Christianity seemed to Chesterton to beat modern ideologies at guessing the hidden eccentricities of life , and performing a miraculous act of balance:. Grabowski MMIX o Christianity was like a huge and ragged and romantic rock, which, though it sways on its pedestal at a touch, yet, because its exaggerated excrescences exactly balance each other, is enthroned there for a thousand years .
Chesterton makes this case by showing that only Christianity can conceive of an ideal with all of the characteristics to satisfy our working ethics: It must be an artistically combined complex idea . Mathematical, scientific necessity can only automate toward a simple end; for example, total conflagration.
He shows on several doctrinal points how liberal theology enfetters its subscribers. This is opposed to a freedom to acknowledge miracles. This is opposed to the freedom to reform . Fatalism  the removal of ultimate consequences for actions especially when incumbent upon the doctrine of apocatastasis xiii inhibits mans freedom to rehabilitate himself.
Arianism  the rejection of Christs Divinity leaves all human freedoms and actions without their crowning glory. In terms of human suffering and trial and temptation, this heresy removes mans freedom for victory for, only if Christ is God has the path to victory been opened.
Authority and the Adventurer Having demonstrated that Christianity answers the need for practical ethics amidst a romantic milieu combining progressive reform and moral firmness in a truly liberal and logical arrangement, Chesterton now turns to the crucial question that truly concludes the whole matter , namely: Before answering the question, however, Chesterton attacks its hidden premise that there are undesirable extras to Christianity, demonstrating how seven common objections are actually rhetorical straw men.
It is objected that: Especially fallacious is the modern insistence that supernaturalism, if it is to prove itself, must do so in terms of naturalism . Finally, Chesterton answers the concluding question: Why not take the good from Christianity and leave the rest?
The outer ring of Christianity is a rigid guard of ethical abnegations and professional priests; but, inside that inhuman guard, you will find the old human life dancing like children and drinking wine like men; for Christianity is the only frame for pagan freedom .
Chesterton closes by remarking that the culmination of this life of practical romance orthodoxy is the experience of JOY How might you respond to someone who alleges a contrary experience?
Is Chestertons method of vignette painting effective or ineffective? Is Chestertons view of the relationship between faith and reason at the bottom of page 57 compelling against modern skepticism? Is it congruous with the Christian view, or does it downplay the autonomy of reason? What do you think of Chestertons approach to ethics in Elfland? Is his appeal to experience too subjective? Does Chestertons primary loyalty to life and existence really reflect the Christian worldview?
Think of Traditional examples which might support an affirmative answer for example, lives of saints. How do you find Chestertons use of paradox? Charming or annoying? Reasonable or illogical? Relevant or ostentatious? Does GKC sufficiently make the case that Christianity is more liberating than alternative worldviews? Does he take too much for granted the essential desirability of freedom? Using some particular examples of modernism, discuss whether it is really true that Christianity even when watered down is hot enough to boil all modern society to rags .
Try to adapt Chestertons argumentation to specific cases. Do Chestertons brief apologetics in the final chapter sufficiently suggest that he has rationally considered his own Christianity? What do you think of GKCs final observation on the mirth of God? In a word or phrase, what would you say is the basic hinge-pin of Chestertons system? Would you like to read more Chesterton?