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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  35,467 ratings  ·  2,223 reviews
This book is meant to be a companion to "Heretics," and to put the positive side in addition to the negative. Many critics complained of the book because it merely criticised current philosophies without offering any alternative philosophy. This book is an attempt to answer the challenge. It is the purpose of the writer to attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christi ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published July 30th 2008 by Waking Lion Press (first published 1908)
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Adam Welcome to the joyful world of GKC!! The three you mentioned were also my first three. Since high school I've read about 40 of his works and collectio…moreWelcome to the joyful world of GKC!! The three you mentioned were also my first three. Since high school I've read about 40 of his works and collections of essays. Let me (enthusiastically) recommend these works to you:
1) Tremendous Trifles (1909 - a collection of very, very good articles of his from the Daily News)
2) The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904 - unusual novel taking place in 1984 London)
3) Autobiography (1936 - this contains, in my opinion, some of the most important passages in all of his writing)
4) The Defendant (1901 - a collection of very early essays taken from a few different periodicals; his one on faith is outstanding, and the edition from Dover Books is very cheap)(less)
Kevin Nope. But Heretics is so short and such a page-turner it couldn't hurt to read it first and might probably be a more satisfying overall experience tha…moreNope. But Heretics is so short and such a page-turner it couldn't hurt to read it first and might probably be a more satisfying overall experience that way.

Think of Heretics as The Hobbit and The Everlasting Man as Lord of the Rings.

Hope you enjoy!

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Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
G.M. Burrow
Jun 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, favorites
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.

Shane Avery
Jul 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: thought
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
Cindy Rollins
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookclub, 2018, reread, 2022
This was my umpteenth time reading Orthodoxy. For years I had the audio version on my iPod Shuffle. Hilariously it played the chapters out of order, but it didn't really matter. I listened to them over and over again. it was fun to go back and read it in print again.

And as other of my friends have said, even though I am one of the dreadful Calvinists, I still love Chesterton and his masterful way with words.

Since I read it on my Kindle I will share my highlights that way.

I am looking forward
Fr.Bill M
Jul 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Is Your head a jumble - a violent Matrix game of cyber-head wars - with endless bipartisan political media bickering providing “no relief, but grief” for your pain? Is your body a kicked-around voodoo pincushion, and your head a pounding voodoo drum?

Well, welcome to the club! This book is a soothing anodyne for all our political headaches and heartaches. As the precious inner peace it describes was to Chesterton.

You see, Chesterton had found a relief for his grief in that peace. A peace of naive
Mar 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
"And though St John the Evangelist saw many strange monsters in his vision, he saw no creature so wild as one of his own commentators"

"It was natural, perhaps, that a modern Marxian Socialist should not know anything about free will"

"The new scientific society definitely discourages men from thinking about death"

"Mr. McCabe thinks me a slave because I am not allowed to believe in determinism"

"But the Greeks were right when they made Apollo the god both of imagination and of sanity, for he
Douglas Wilson
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Superb. Finished it again in January 2017.
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, adults

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 li
Michael Perkins
Apr 18, 2016 rated it liked it
“The drowsy stillness of the afternoon was shattered by what sounded to his strained senses like G.K. Chesterton falling on a sheet of tin.”

― P.G. Wodehouse


I read this book long ago and what's stayed with me is not the theology, but some psychology from his chapter titled "The Maniac."

Back in my early 20’s, I was involved in social ministry. Half one summer I spent shadowing a chaplain in a jail and the other at the very busy USC-LA County Hospital. I saw and participated in a lot of t
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris Shank
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Douglas Wilson
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
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.
Jonathan Terrington

"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 discussin
Skylar Burris
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
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
Ah, Chesterton. You never cease to awaken me to the paradoxes and perplexities of life. The foremost being, "How can Christians actually like you when you're paradoxically narrow-minded and a god-awful writer to boot?" Life never ceases to amaze me.

So following is not my review of the book, but the "Ten Things I Hate About Chesterton." This was part of my Torrey notes when I actually had to read the book in school last year. After struggling through a monstrosity such as Orthodoxy, there was muc
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
See here for a chapter-by-chapter sketch of an audio version I listened to in 2020.

Available online. See Plodcast, Episode #7 and Episode #18.

My first Chesterton book. It was slow-going for the first few chapters, but I enjoyed it more as I went on. This book has come up again and again, and I really need to read through it again. Having interacted with it on a deeper level since the first time I read it, I think that I'd give it five stars if I read it again.

Here's Piper on why Chesterton's ant
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
GK Chesterton, that huge and hilarious Christian, wrote two books which might be called, above all his others, masterpieces. One of them is his novel, The Man Who Was Thursday. The other is his apologetic filibuster (if I may use the word): Orthodoxy. I recommended this book to my sister the other day.

“If you’re studying apologetics,” I said, “you should really read Orthodoxy. Shouldn’t she, Justin?”

My brother paused. “If,” he said tentatively, “I could produce a marching band, a fireworks extra
Tom LA
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read the “Word on Fire” beautiful grey hardcover edition. It was the first time I read this book, and it is without a doubt one of the very best books I’ve ever read. One of the top 5. And I’ve read many.

The number of very profound psychological insights in this book is astounding. The overarching one is the concept of coexisting opposites. While being a characteristic trait of Christianity, this is also a very typical trait of human existence: our lives are a constant dance between simult
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chesterton is unmatched in his ability to express big thoughts in a big way. Same for his ability to turn a phrase—maybe even more impressive than Lewis in this respect. Parts of this book are somewhat esoteric and others are simply frustrating—he’s a Roman Catholic, after all, who isn’t a fan of the Reformation and who loathes Calvinism, which he sadly mistakes for robotic determinism. On the whole, though, the book is brilliant. Of course it’s dated in certain ways, but the most striking featu ...more
K.M. Weiland
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The title belies the true depth and value of this book. Chesterton writes, ostensibly, to share his own conclusions about why Christianity is true and worth following. But the book is so much bigger than that, just as it is so much more intimate than a mere treatise on orthodoxy. Chesterton offers clarity of thought and imagination and wit. Every single page offers something interesting and new to chew on. I’ll be returning to this one over and over.
Manuel Alfonseca
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
ENGLISH: In this, the fourth time I have read "Orthodoxy," I have added a few more memorable quotations to my list, 9 to be exact. Each time I re-read it, something new jumps to my eye. The reading has also influenced my own publications with two quotations in my blog posts.

Why do I give the book 4 stars and not 5? Because the 5 stars are reserved for "The everlasting man," which comes next in my reading list.

ESPAÑOL: En esta, la cuarta vez que leo "Ortodoxia", agregué algunas citas memorables m
Justinian the Great
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read again a second time: I have to reject some of what I said the first time I read the book, he surely showed the inconsistencies of the thinking of the atheist philosophies here, but there’s much more to this book than that, it is brilliant besides not being infallible, I do not think any author has written a book infallibly. It was very joyful reading. Great author.

He says some of the main things without exploring them further. If he did explore those ideas it would have to go in a different
Regina Doman
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. ...more
Jeff Miller
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
No need to add to the reviews.

Other than this has become an annual read for me and will remain so.
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Chesterton is so quintessentially quotable that I thought it would be fun to try filling a commonplace book of nothing but Chesterton quotes. But then I gradually realized that this work is a commonplace book of nothing but Chesterton quotes so that making my own would simply be redundant.

Orthodoxy is filled with one brilliant moment after another, but the book as a whole seemed a bit haphazard, like it might have a hard time passing a sobriety test. But maybe that's the point: the wild and unp
Julie Davis
Jul 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I began reading this along with the Pints with Chesterton podcast. When I got to chapter five I was hooked and couldn't put it down, zooming through the rest of this work of genius. ...more
Jesús  Erro
Extraordinary Christian apologetic treatise. I have listened to the audiobook, by publisher Rialp, on Spotify (Spanish edition) You can listen to it at this link: You will be able to finish the book in a day. The voice and translation are excellent. The book reveals the weaknesses of current materialistic ideology. I will read it again — with God's help — because of the depth, creativity and lucidity of the arguments raised here. ...more
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Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic.

He was 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

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