Alex Stroshine's Reviews > Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
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Sep 18, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: apologetics, g-k-chesterton, spiritual-classics
Read from October 13 to 30, 2012

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Quotes Alex Liked

G.K. Chesterton
“The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“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.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“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.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
tags: love

G.K. Chesterton
“If we are bound to improve, we need not trouble to improve. The pure doctrine of progress is the best of all reasons for not being a progressive.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“It is one thing to describe an interview with a gorgon or a griffin, a creature who does not exist. It is another thing to discover that the rhinoceros does exist and then take pleasure in the fact that he looks as if he didn't.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“In the fairy tale, an incomprehensible happiness rests upon an incomprehensible condition. A box is opened and all evils fly out. A word is forgotten and cities perish. A lamp is lit and love flies away. An apple is eaten and the hope of God is gone.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“According to most philosophers, God in making the world enslaved it. According to Christianity, in making it, He set it free. God had written, not so much a poem, but rather a play; a play he had planned as perfect, but which had necessarily been left to human actors and stage-managers, who had since made a great mess of it.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“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.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“The man who kills a man kills a man.
The man who kills himself kills all men.
As far as he is concerned, he wipes out the world.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“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. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert-himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt - the Divine Reason... The old humility was a spur that prevented a man from stopping: not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on. For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“Art is limitation; the essence of every picture is the frame. If you draw a giraffe, you must draw him with a long neck. If in your bold creative way you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a short neck, you will really find that you are not free to draw a giraffe.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“The essence of all pantheism, evolutionism, and modern cosmic religion is really this proposition: that nature is our mother. Unfortunately, if you regard Nature as a mother, you discover she is a step-mother.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“I have never been able to understand where people got the idea that democracy was in some way opposed to tradition. It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time. It is trusting to a consensus of common human voices rather than to some isolated or arbitrary record. . . . Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“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 monotony that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never gotten 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.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“An historic institution, which never went right, is really quite much of a miracle as an institution that cannot go wrong.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“We do not admire, we hardly excuse, the fanatic who wrecks this world for love of the other. But what are we to say of the fanatic who wrecks this world out of hatred of the other? He sacrifices the very existence of humanity to the non-existence of God. He offers his victims not to the altar, but merely to assert the idleness of the altar and the emptiness of the throne. He is ready to ruin even that primary ethic by which all things live, for his strange and eternal vengeance upon some one who never lived at all.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“What again could this astonishing thing be like which people were so anxious to contradict, that in doing so they did not mind contradicting themselves?”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“Children are grateful when Santa Claus puts in their stockings gifts of toys or sweets. Could I not be grateful to Santa Claus when he put in my stockings the gift of two miraculous legs? We thank people for birthday presents of cigars and slippers. Can I thank no one
for the birthday present of birth?”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“And in history I found that Christianity, so far from belonging to the Dark Ages, was the one path across the Dark Ages that was not dark.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“If better conditions will make the poor more fit to govern themselves, why should not better conditions already make the rich more fit to govern them? On the ordinary environment argument the matter is fairly manifest. The comfortable class must be merely our vanguard in Utopia...Is there any answer to the proposition that those who have had the best opportunities will probably be our best guides? Is there any answer to the argument that those who have breathed clean air had better decide for those who have breathed foul? As far as I know, there is only one answer, and that answer is Christianity. Only the Christian Church can offer any rational objection to a complete confidence in the rich. For she has maintained from the beginning that the danger was not in man's environment, but in man. Further, she has maintained that if we come to talk of a dangerous environment, the most dangerous environment of all is the commodious environment...Christianity even when watered down is hot enough to boil all modern society to rags. The mere minimum of the Church would be a deadly ultimatum to the world. For the whole modern world is absolutely based on the assumption, not that the rich are necessary (which is tenable), but that the rich are trustworthy, which (for a Christian) is not tenable. You will hear everlastingly, in all discussions about newspapers, companies, aristocracies, or party politics, this argument that the rich man cannot be bribed. The fact is, of course, that the rich man is bribed; he has been bribed already. That is why he is a rich man. The whole case for Christianity is that a man who is dependent upon the luxuries of this life is a corrupt man, spiritually corrupt, politically corrupt, financially corrupt. There is one thing that Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony. They have said simply that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“The point is not that this world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“Men spoke much in my boyhood about restricted or ruined men of genius: and it was common to say that many a man was a Great Might-Have-Been. To me it's a more solid and startling fact that any man in the street is a Great Might-Not-Have-Been.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“Now here comes in the whole collapse and huge blunder of our age. We have mixed up two different things, two opposite things. Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to suit the vision. Progress does mean (just now) that we are always changing the vision. It should mean that we are slow but sure in bringing justice and mercy among men: it does mean that we are very swift in doubting the desirability of justice and mercy: a wild page from any Prussian sophist makes men doubt it. Progress should mean that we are always walking towards the New Jerusalem. It does mean that the New Jerusalem is always walking away from us. We are not altering the real to suit the ideal. We are altering the ideal: it is easier.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton
“How can we say that the Church wishes to bring us back into the Dark Ages? The Church was the only thing that ever brought us out of them.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy


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