Orthodoxy
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Orthodoxy

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  12,497 ratings  ·  772 reviews
The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is...more
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Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (first published 1908)
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jenn
I bought it because I heard this quote recently

"A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough... It is possible that God says every morning, "D...more
Shane Avery
It is with extreme reluctance that I condemn this work as worthless. The person who recommended it to me is one whose opinion and learning I respect greatly.

Chesterton seems to think (although I'm not entirely sure of anything in this book, inasmuch as the author refuses to write in anything but figurative language and metaphor. In fact, the term "mixed metaphor" is an entirely inappropriate descriptor. One would need to use exponents to keep track of the metaphors and smilies that he heaps upon...more
Gwen Burrow
I have to think of Chesterton as happy nitroglycerin. This book sends your head up into the clouds while driving your feet deep into the earth. It spins you dizzier than you've ever been, yet makes you walk straighter than you've ever walked.

Read this first in 2007, again in 2011.

John
imagine walking into a dangerous and violent bar with the biggest, baddest ufc champion ever to grace the octagon. or walking into a house party with the hottest date ever. or entering a church basketball tournament with an nba caliber ringer on your team. i'm guessing that's what it would have felt like to walk with gk chesterton into a room full of skeptics and post-modern christian haters.

okay, that whole paragraph did not work. but this book deserves credit for being mostly a pre-modern wor...more
Fr.Bill M
This is an absolute must for either Catholics or Protestants, as Chesterton addresses an aspect of mere Christianity (it's profound and monumental common sensensicalness!) in a way that sparkles with wit, humor, and intellectual derring-do.

Incidentally, if you set yourself to reading it out loud, you will put yourself through a training in diction and oral expression that far surpasses anything you could ever hire.
Jonathan

"Things can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is false, but nothing can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is true."

Certainly nothing is irrelevant to discussing Christianity when G.K. Chesterton writes a classic apologetics work. Orthodoxy is and is not a typical apologetics work. It defends the orthodox Christian world-view and it moreover discusses and reveals what Chesterton's own views and values were. As such Chesterton does not back away from discussing a...more
Jamie
Nov 20, 2009 Jamie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to understand why people would believe Catholicism
Recommended to Jamie by: C.S. Lewis, Peter Kreeft, Fulton Sheen
I learned that the Orthodoxy of the Catholic faith is what keeps it (and the world) sane. It calls to us from our fairy tales while at the same time appealing to our logic.

I also learned why so many people, like C.S. Lewis, Scott Hahn, and J.R.R. Tolkien have made reference to G.K. Chesterton - he is brilliant. His mastery of the English language is second to none.

The only difficulty of this book is that it may come off as "high-brow" because it was written in the U.K. (and their English is diff...more
Clare Cannon

A complex work of great scope that I will need to read a few more times. Chesterton uses metaphors to explain the meaning of his theses, and the reader must work to comprehend what they signify on different levels. I find it amazing that this was first published in 1908. Its ideas refer to - but are so independent from - the philosophies of that time, as though it were written today looking back on them rather than their contemporary.

I'll not write a comprehensive review, but just wish to list...more
Werner
Jun 06, 2010 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Both Christians and non-Christians interested in what evidence exists for faith
Recommended to Werner by: My Goofreads friend Bruce
Chesterton was one of the premier Christian thinkers of his generation, fully engaged in the intellectual debates of his day (which turn out to be not much different from those of our own!). His writing is frequently characterized by love of paradox, exuberant humor, and intellectual rigor which can make his thought demanding to follow in places (a quality mitigated by his clear effort to tailor the presentation to the average educated reader). All of those qualities are in evidence here. It's a...more
Skylar Burris
Chesterton is witty but dense; his reasoning requires concentration. If I am reading him and not paying close attention to the trajectory of his thought, I find myself saying, "What is he babbling about? What does this have to do with anything, let alone Christian orthodoxy?" If I am paying attention, however, I often find him extremely insightful, and I wish to highlight nearly ever line. I also find him quite contemporary; what he says seems to apply somehow to every age. This is not apologeti...more
Douglas Wilson
I first read this in 1975. It was a life-saver then. Not sure how many times I have read it since, but Nancy and I just finished reading it aloud together (May 2013). Fantastic, as always.
Chris
When I first started reading this book, I was dumbfounded, and I quickly sensed my vulnerability. I’m used to reading challenging authors who work hard to drop-kick your old paradigms and hold you teeth-down to the grinding concrete they’re speeding recklessly over in pursuit of truth. I can sense when an author is sliding towards sensationalism and theatrics in his attempt to convince readers that their life is a sham and essentially a waste of time. I even like it when authors do that, because...more
LeAnn
Reviewing G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy is a daunting task, given the purpose of the book, his sophisticated and subtle commentary, and the nature of the subject. Nevertheless, I'll try to write a response that will enable potential readers to determine what Chesterton wrote about, why, and how successfully.

Already I find myself laboring to pull salient points and summarize arguments from Chesterton's book. The main thing to understand is that this book isn't an apologia for Christianity; I believ...more
Andrew
this review first appeared on [http://intraspace.blogspot.com]

i've finally finished reading his book 'orthodoxy'. it looks little, like a quick read, and then it isn't.

this book seems to have had a revival in the last couple of years. it's recommended by philip yancey, john eldridge mentions it a lot in his writings, and relevant media (purveyors of christian cool) have just released a version under their imprint. i suppose it was also considered a 'christian classic' before this recent press -...more
Jason
Oct 26, 2007 Jason rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Christian apologetics or top notch rhetoric
Shelves: churchy-stuff
G.K. Chesterton is a rhetorical master, and nowhere is his virtuosity on better display than in Orthodoxy. This book is saturated with classical rhetorical devices, so it may be a bit heavy-handed for modernists. If you enjoy a clever turn of phrase and a top-notch wit, Chesterton is hard to beat.

Orthodoxy is noteworthy for its substantive content as well. In this book, G.K. defends Christianity against the amoral relativism of his day (the turn of the 20th Century). His primary foil is George B...more
Regina Doman
Sep 22, 2008 Regina Doman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, especially those interested in Catholicism or Christianity
Recommended to Regina by: My English teacher
One of the three most influential books in my life outside the Bible. This book would have made me Catholic, if I wasn't already. It also kept me a Catholic, as I was on my way out of the Church before I read it. It confirmed me in my Catholic faith, made the Church make sense for the first time, and set me on the way I'm still traveling. It gave me a vision for where I was and where I was going. I'm still on my way.
Jim
This is the third time I have read Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, and I hope it will not be the last. Written near the beginning of his career, it is by far his best book on the subject of religion. Although he was to return a number of times to the same well, the water was fresher in 1908, some fourteen years before he made his decision to convert to Catholicism. Afterwards, there was an institutional tinge to his writing that vitiated many of his later efforts.

As a lapsed Catholic, I was surpri...more
Briege
So far incredibly insightful and thought provoking.
L.S.
Chesterton arata in aceasta carte ca teologia crestina esentiala este cea mai buna sursa de vigoare si etica sanatoasa. Se poate spune ca este o autobiografie atipica, un fel de calatorie intelectuala personala. A crede in tine insuti este un semn clar al ratarii personale, al esecului. Chesterton observa ca lumea moderna a inceput sa nege existenta pacatului si nu doar a pacatului originar din Eden dar si al murdariei si pacatului zilnic din viata de zi cu zi a oamenilor. Daca omul de azi gases...more
anca dc
Bucuria, care este mica publicitate a păgânului, este uriaşul secret al creştinului. Iar acum, când închid acest volum haotic, deschid din nou cartea mică şi stranie din care a purces întreg creştinismul; şi sunt urmărit de un fel de confirmare. Cutremurătorul personaj care umple paginile Evangheliilor se înalţă nemăsurat şi în această privinţă, ca în toate celelalte, deasupra tuturor gânditorilor care s-au crezut vreodată înalţi. Patosul său a fost natural, aproape detaşat. Stoicii, antici şi m...more
Jordan Jeffers

This book in one tweet

Dead, cape-wearing English guy from early 1900s still wiser/funnier than anyone you know. #apologetics #iwishpeoplestillworecapes

Favorite quote

But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may b
...more
Douglas Dalrymple
It’s the fact that this is such a bad book of Christian apologetics which makes it such a good book of Christian apologetics. The mechanical rationalizations of a Lewis, for example, are absent, and Chesterton’s arguments, when he makes them, are sometimes poor. Most of the time he opts instead to overawe with the glory of his rhetoric, to distract with the playful catholicity of his mind, and to paint a vision of revolutionary, western, Christian sanity that somehow ends up being all the more c...more
Benjamin
Chesterton provides an intriguing and very convincing account of Christian thought and the way he considers it (with regards to its ability to reconcile paradoxes, such as optimism and pessimism) has shed some light on some of the problems I have had when considering Christianity in the past. However, I think that his reading, though evidently not without thought and a large amount of effort devoted to argumentation, is very much coloured by his preexisting devotion to Christianity. His conceptu...more
Jon
Chesterton is very clever--both witty in words and deeply insightful about the faith. At times his wit became almost tedious to listen to (I listened to an AudioBook version) but his way of summing up intellectual history of various movements and insight into the nature of the Gospel was well worth wading through it all. The book is really an autobiography of sorts--I guess an autobiography of his intellectual journey to faith. Very enlightening, inspiring, and fun.
Eric Schmidt
What to say about a book that is so obviously a masterpiece - and which expressed, better than C.S. Lewis and decades earlier, all the essential arguments for accepting the Christian creed? (Lewis' Mere Christianity, unworthy of the attention it receives, is pretty derivative of Chesterton - almost to the point of near-plagiarism.) Anyways, I could write for days. For now I'll confine myself to a few reflections, and start the dialogue from there.

1) In Chesterton's defense, because I'd guess it...more
Peter B.
"I said to him, 'Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves?...The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.' He said mildly that there were a good many men after all who believed in themselves and who were not in lunatic asylums. 'Yes, there are,' I retorted, '...That drunken poet from whom you would not take a dreary tragedy, he believe in himself. That elderly minister with an epic from whom you were hiding in a back room, he believed in himself....more
Barnabas Piper
Chesterton expresses things about the faith that I have long felt and not been able to express. He is truly brilliant. This is a powerful book to help Christians and non-Christians alike understand the faith.
Bob Myer
One of the most interesting, convincing cases made for orthodox Christian theology, but made in a distinctly non-dogmatic way. Though the text is 100 years old (I believe it was published in 1908), the arguments still make sense - indeed, perhaps make more sense - today. Mr. Chesterton uses logic to show just how illogical rationalist beliefs are, and then links his own ideas (and ideals) gained over time to orthodox Christian beliefs.

While some may think that this text is too difficult to tackl...more
Keiki Hendrix
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 i...more
Carmen
I have been wanting to read this book for a while, since C.S. Lewis cites G.K. Chesterton as a major influence. I could see that influence, especially in what Chesterton writes about the imagination. Chesterton spins beautiful metaphors and is a great proponant of "common sense" understandings of Christianity. However, I was left a bit disappointed. Perhaps because he places so much emphasis on "common sense," the reasoning and the examples feel dated, and at times, not too relevant to 21st cent...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect Page Count for ISBN 0385015364 2 11 Oct 04, 2013 10:41PM  
wrong book cover 2 74 Jun 04, 2009 11:53PM  
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  • Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth
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  • Christianity and Culture: The Idea of a Christian Society and Notes Towards the Definition of Culture
  • Handbook of Christian Apologetics
  • Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
  • Love and Responsibility
  • The Imitation of Christ
  • The Gospel in a Pluralist Society
  • Theology and Sanity
  • The God Who Is There
  • The Religious Affections
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 Volume Set)
7014283
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) cannot be summed up in one sentence. Nor in one paragraph. In fact, in spite of the fine biographies that have been written of him (and his Autobiography), he has never been captured between the covers of one book. But rather than waiting to separate the goats from the sheep, let’s just come right out and say it: G.K. Chesterton was the best writer of the twent...more
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“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” 625 likes
“Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.” 282 likes
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