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The Everlasting Man

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  5,897 Ratings  ·  461 Reviews
What, if anything, is it that makes the human uniquely human? This, in part, is the question that G.K. Chesterton starts with in this classic exploration of human history. Responding to the evolutionary materialism of his contemporary (and antagonist) H.G. Wells, Chesterton in this work affirms human uniqueness and the unique message of the Christian faith. Writing in a ti ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published June 15th 2006 by Regent College Publishing (first published 1925)
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Michael Kenan Baldwin Because rationalism is associated with the veneration of agnosticism, and agnosticism gives birth to superstition. See here:
"Superstition...is an…more
Because rationalism is associated with the veneration of agnosticism, and agnosticism gives birth to superstition. See here:
"Superstition...is an agnostic sentiment, for it rests on two feelings: first that we do not really know the laws of the universe; and second that they may be very different to all we call reason." p98, in chapter 6 'The Demons and the Philosophers' in 'The Everlasting Man'.(less)

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Fr.Bill M
Jul 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Men and women have become Christians solely from reading this one book. If you are not a Christian, beware this book. It will possibly convert you. If it does not, then it will probably irreparably harden your heart. A book to save you eternally or to damn you to hell forever. Amazing.
Edward Waverley
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with a profile on MySpace.
Recommended to Edward by: CS Lewis
Was Jesus the son of God? I think one of the most fascinating attempts to answer that question was mounted in the early 20th century by the two famous friends and literary rivals HG Wells and GK Chesterton, respectively the agnostic extraordinaire and the Catholic par excellence. For Wells, so emphatic was his need to debunk the notion of Christ's divinity that he took a break from his novels and switched to a series of writings on history, the most famous of which ws his "Outline of History." C ...more
Jonathan Terrington

The Everlasting Man is not your typical Christian apologetics classic. I say this because G.K. Chesterton is not aiming to write a pure 'defence of the faith' as it were, but to write a work that better explores the relationship of Christianity to history. It has become something of a fashionable statement to ignore the relevance of Christianity as it pertains to history and so Chesterton sets out to first explore the concept of God and his role as more than merely just another aspect of mytholo
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shaun mccormick
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every single person on earth
Shelves: christian
The best book I have ever read.

A wonderful chronicle of how the entirety of history reaches its pinnacle in Jesus. From the start, Chesterton takes the poetic road; he swipes at the theory of evolution by asserting the necessity of art, the desire to create, and the noticing of beauty in unattractive things.

Sweeping into the mythologies, he shows how civilizations actually decline into polytheism from monotheism, rather than the generally-accepted opposite. He then shows how the Roman empire was
...more
booklady
What can I possibly write/say about The Everlasting Man that hasn’t already been written/said ever so much better? He is Our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ of course and this book about Him is supposedly the best writing by G.K. Chesterton. The latter point might be debatable, the first certainly isn’t.

There is one comment. Perhaps it has been made by others, I do not know. But I loved GK’s points about the Caveman and his drawings. Art is a refinement unique to Man and thanks to the explanation
...more
Clare Cannon
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adults, non-fiction

A brilliant study of comparative religion from earliest known human history to recent times. Chesterton looks at the essence of each religion and what makes them different to Christianity, so that you gradually realise that there is very little in which they can be compared, much less considered similar. There is no political correctness is what he says, if there were, the differences would have been neutralised until everything tasted more or less the same.

However, Chesterton may be best read
...more
David Sarkies
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
The Spiritual History of Humanity
9 June 2016

It was quite ironic that as I was reading this book I noticed that a friend of mine was regularly updating his Facebook status with quotes from G.K. Chesterton. Mind you, they weren't any old quotes, they were no doubt quotes that particularly struck him. It is a real shame that he isn't on Goodreads (or has made any mention on Facebook what book he is reading) because no doubt he is reading some Chesterton at this time, I just am not really sure whic
...more
Amy
How to explain what it is like reading G. K. Chesterton? It is having your mind blown and your imagination blessed at the same time. It is sentences that need to be re-read because they are both profound and painful. It is feeling like you are being put through a ringer but you'll be better for it at the end.
Clever, challenging, encouraging, even inspiring. That is what it is to read Chesterton. It took me a summer to get through this one but I highly value the chance I got to really dig deep.
...more
Brian
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: To Any Open Minded Person (but any Catholic it is a must)
Chesterton is a genius. Period.

This book, more than most others that are on the subject of Christian apologetics, blew me away. I can't really put into words anything more than that. Maybe until I read it again. My mind was just stretched to its limits in the scope and density of his arguments.

Chesterton covers every argument for Christ & Christianity and its need and place in history.

I recommend this book to any Christian and most especially to any Catholic to read in their lifetime. At
...more
Julie Davis
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Third time's the charm ... or rather the re-charm! This time I read the actual print version and found it just as good, if not better, than the audio I'd always used before. A few paragraphs before my day began always gave me a little nugget to ponder. This is an incredibly rich book which made me wonder if it was, in a way, Chesterton's version of City of God by St. Augustine. Not that Chesterton would do that, but having listened to a Great Course on City of God while reading this, I couldn't ...more
Skylar Burris
Jan 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Everlasting Man is a strange kind of Christian apologetics, which relates the story of man from the beginning of time. Chesterton gives a delightful thrashing to the anthropologists who draw amazing conclusions from minimal evidence; emphasizes that whether or not evolution is true, it offers absolutely no reasonable explanation for the vast divide between man and the animals; pokes some fun at the silliness of comparative religion; and teases the historical critics who draw insupportable cl ...more
Dhandayutha
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are some writers you must read them to learn what it means to think,what it means to argue,how to keep your guns intact at all moments.Nietzsche,Adorno,Lawrence,Chesterton are few among them.Reading Adorno and Chesterton and Nietzsche are an exercise to mind to learn how to think.As far i know Chesterton was a most potential opponent of Nietzsche and a strong defendant of Christianity.Its very hard not to be absorbed by him whenever you read him.Only when i read Chesterton and Nietzsche to ...more
Jeff Miller
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Re-read 2018-08-05

The first thing I ever read of Chesterton's was a chapter from this book titled "God in a Cave", so I have a great fondness for this books and my introduction to Chesterton.

As this is another re-read of this, my love of this goes much farther than fondness. His "outline of history" in response to his friend H.G. Well's book still pertains as much today as ever. This sweeping birds eye view of history presents a rather odd apologetic and a way of seeing things so simple that you
...more
Sancti Tomma
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I finished I only wished there was more. And I wondered, “Why haven’t I read this before?”. This is a work of history similar in some ways to Atheistic Delusions by David Bentley Hart, though still much different.
Mark Adderley
May 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
I've now read "The Everlasting Man" for the second time. It has some of the drawbacks other reviewers have noted--racial epithets that don't go down well in the twenty-first century, Eurocentrism (more below), a style that sometimes obscures the main point.

However, these are superficial criticisms. For the most part, it presents an examination of certain logical fallacies about the Christian faith that you sometimes hear today. The science of evolution may have moved on from what it was in Chest
...more
Dean
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mean it was C. S. Lewis who said: "for me a book is of no use if I don't read it at least two or three times".
Well, I only can agree to the uttermost with Lewis.
Particularly "the everlasting man" by G. K. Chesterton is a classic candidate for rereading it several times....
The book himself enjoys a classic status. Here Chesterton displays masterfully his keen, winning and engaging wit, and tantalizes us trough his amazing and eloquent gift as one of the best Christians apologetics writer ever!!
...more
David Huff
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterpiece among many fine works of Chesterton, “The Everlasting Man” brings an everlasting change to the whole notion of “comparative religions”; and reading this great and challenging book will give you a new perspective on the history of the world. In fact, Chesterton wrote it, in part, as a theological rebuttal to H. G. Wells’ “Outline of History”. More specifically, it is a deep and beautifully written essay to describe, as the Boston Transcript notes, “How the fulfillment of all man’s d ...more
Steve
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chesterton writes this book to fend off the same arguments that continue today -evolutionist philosophy, materialism, comparative religion.

He brings out a point I had not considered before. Humanism would have us believe that society is evolving to ever higher civilization. Chesterton points out that history does not bear this out. Egypt, Babylon, the Mayans; all had advanced civilizations that disintegrated because of the nature of man. It brought to mind a conversation I had with a young man i
...more
Sara
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a masterpiece. It is a focused walk through the story of mankind.

I think that I will use this with my beginning scholars as an orientation to world history.

I will forever understand that man always begins in a cave. Chesterton has given me a powerful understanding of why Christ was born in a stable (rather than A field, the woods, a home or a palace).

I have a new confidence and peace and sense of hope for my own time knowing that it is only natural that Christendom will go through a g
...more
Tim
A few months ago I read an anthropology book in which the author took the position that because there are particulars (particular religions, particular moral codes), we are justified in believing this means we have imagined all universals (God, good and evil). God does not exist and all of these elaborate and competing theologies more or less popped up simultaneously over the planet as we spread across it. From these particulars, we then imagined a universal: an actual Creator behind it all. How ...more
David Withun
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Chesterton has taken up a tremendous task with this book and spectacularly accomplished his goals. Here, he sets out to explore and explain the nature and history of man in relation to the central event in the history of the species: the Incarnation of God as man in the Person of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this goal, Chesterton begins with the beginning of man in prehistory and proceeds through to the rise of Christianity. His goal along the way is to demonstrate the singular uniqueness of man ...more
Tara
Feb 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
I've read this twice now, and I continue to think this is a vastly overrated book. Pieces of it are beautiful and rather brilliant, but only slight pieces. There's the argument about not dismissing ideas simply because they fell out of fashion - were they actually disproved? The answer is, yes, and the book falls short because the author's intelligence was strangled by his Euro-centric, racist, sexist beliefs. He is entirely blind to the crimes of Western Culture, and he seems to have sincerely ...more
Daniel Wright
Such is the peculiarity of my shelving structure that I must put all books by G. K. Chesterton on a shelf called 'modernist-era'. How did the very scourge of modernity in person end up on a such an oddly named shelf? Especially such a book as this, where he lays into everything modern with all his formidable eloquence. He is at his best at the beginning, critiquing contemporary unfounded speculation about primitive humankind. In this, he has very much been vindicated by events - palaeoanthropolo ...more
Douglas Wilson
Magnificent.
Irene
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Considered a masterpiece among Chesterton’s many books, this was written to refute H. G. Wels’s endorsement of a purely natural view of the evolution of Homo sapiens and of human culture. Chesterton here argues that religion is integral and essential to understanding humanity and the world and that, of all religious systems, Christianity is alone true and Catholicism the most perfect expression of Christianity. I am not a fan of polemics; it only affords access to one side of an argument without ...more
Eristina
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Knjiga koja me navela da puno toga promišljam, da stvari pogledam i iz nekih drugih kutova i promislim o njima. Vjerujem da osobi koja mrzi religiju ovo može doći ili kao veliko otrježnjenje ili je navesti na još veće otvrdnuću srca.
Nije dobilo najvišu ocjenu jer se nekim stvarima nije bavio koliko bih ja željela, a što i sam priznaje. Meni je baš nedostajalo više ulaska u samu vjeru, ali smatram da je to ovoj knjizi baš svojstvenu i da je zato vrijedna, jer gotovo da piše povijest svijeta i kul
...more
S©aP
Lettura complessa, per la quale è necessario possedere, in egual misura, una profonda onestà intellettuale, una sana libertà di pensiero, un'inclinazione al ragionamento filosofico realmente libera da pregiudizio e la capacità rara di accettare interesse e meraviglia. Libro scoppiettante, prodotto di un intelletto fervido e facondo. La capacità logica dell'uomo, stupefacente, sottende una linearità di ragionamento affilata, velocissima, cui si unisce una gaiezza di fondo non comune. Non restarne ...more
Laura
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I may have finished this book, but I'm not done with it. Nowhere near. I will be thumbing back through my (many) underlined passages to try and retrace the whole argument Chesterton makes.

Essentially, Chesterton sets out to prove that "man is not an evolution, but a revolution." And that any effort to dismiss Christianity as just one among many belief systems falls short of truly seeing Christianity as the oddity that it was and is still.

Chesterton has a way of seeing the world that draws my a
...more
Megan
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is basically an extended argument for the truth of Christianity's central doctrine of the Incarnation. Chesterton crafts his arguments with style, grace, humor, and deep intelligence. It requires patience -- the book demands attention and work and Chesterton's use of schemes and tropes is scintillating to the point of maddening -- but it is a thoroughly rewarding read.

...There's this one part at the end where he talks about the dawn as 'God kindling the morning fires for the world' --
...more
Jon Gill
This is an incredible read, and it will take some work to grasp it all. But it’s worth it, especially for Christians who are questioning their faith, or skeptics who want to throw Christianity out with the bathwater of religious bad behavior.

Chesterton is not like anyone else

Chesterton has a good reputation for being the master of the turn-of-phrase. He does this well in small essays (I read “All Things Considered” earlier this year, and it’s full of great quotables and short nuggets), going fr
...more
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Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was born in London, educated at St. Paul’s, and went to art school at University College London. In 1900, he was asked to contribute a few magazine articles on art criticism, and went on to become one of the most prolific writers of all time. He wrote a hundred books, contributions to 200 more, hundreds of poems, including the epic Ballad of the White Horse, fi ...more
“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” 403 likes
“There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there.” 190 likes
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