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Orthodoxy
 
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G.K. Chesterton
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Orthodoxy

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  28,386 ratings  ·  1,554 reviews
Written G.K. Chesterton, 'Orthodoxy' address foremost one main problem: How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it? Chesterton writes, "I wish to set forth my faith as particularly answering this double spiritual need, the need for that mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar which Christendom has rightly named romance."

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Kindle Edition
Published (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…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…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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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  28,386 ratings  ·  1,554 reviews


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jenn
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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  ·  review of another edition
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 h
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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.
John
Mar 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Douglas Wilson
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Superb. Finished it again in January 2017.
Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and
"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 was both the patrondeath"
"Mr.will"
"The
...more
Clare Cannon
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adults, non-fiction

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 some of the thin
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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.
Jamie
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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. (a
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Jonathan Terrington
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonathan by: Steve Kendall

"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 as broad a rang
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Chris
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
Skylar Burris
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Werner
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Cindy Rollins
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, 2018, bookclub
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
...more
Jeremy
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 anti-Calvinism isn't completely off-putting. Here's N. D. Wilson on Chestertonian Calvini
...more
Suzannah
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
K.M. Weiland
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Matt
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Charlemagne
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
...more
Elevetha
3.5 stars.

This would have been 5 stars, except it went way over my head in the last 3 chapters or so. The first three-fourths of the book were absolutely brilliant and insightful and, with a little extra time taken to ponder, fairly easily taken in and understood, which I can appreciate, being a silly and easily befuddled young'un.

You ever read something and you think, "Man, that's deep. I know this is genius, but I can't quite wrap my head around it", and then your brain sta
...more
Kris
Controversial, but brilliant. Striking, but baffling. Quotable, but confusing.

I almost gave this five stars -- the content is certainly profound and incredible at some points -- but the methods in which Chesterton tackles his ideas are too tangled up and confusing. He makes large leaps in his logic, leaving the reader no room to catch up before going on. While Chesterton repeatedly describes his ideas through pictures, often these explanations still aren't sufficient -- he fails to r
...more
Regina Doman
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
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.
Megan Lane
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I give this five stars not because I completely agree with it (or understand it, if we're being honest), but because it was beautiful and powerful and honest and humble.
Jim
Apr 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chesterton, religion
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 surprised to h
...more
LeAnn
Mar 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 bel
...more
Amy
I LOVED Orthodoxy. I feel like I barely skimmed the depths of it. I am definitely going to re-read this one many times. Chesterton is utterly brilliant and reading him is like thinking on a different level. It took me a while to get through this book because I felt like I needed to take it slowly.
I don't know where to begin with this book, primarily because I feel like I have only just begun.
I feel like I have been stretched on my thoughts about stories, worldview, and the role of joy in the C
...more
Valerie Kyriosity
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Oh, Gilbert, you do delight me so. I can't help it...as a good Calvinist I must admit that I was predestined to love you despite your bigotry against my kind.

Oh, Mr. Carter, I wonder if you ever laugh. And I wonder how you made it through this reading without ever seeming to crack a smile. (I notice that LibriVox has a second edition. I will download that for my next "reading.")
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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, five plays, five n ...more
“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.” 1141 likes
“Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.” 600 likes
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