Heretics by G.K. Chesterton Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Heretics

G. K. Chesterton, the “Prince of Paradox,” is at his witty best in this collection of twenty essays and articles from the turn of the twentieth century. Focusing on “heretics” — those who pride themselves on their superiority to Christian views — Chesterton appraises prominent figures who fall into that category from the literary and art worlds. Luminaries such as Rudyard
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Heresy means a belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine and so a heretic would be a person holding such a belief or opinion. It’s a word we don’t use or hear much anymore, probably because we are afraid of certainty in religion. We prefer ‘tolerance’. This trend was gaining ground in Chesteron’s day. (Wouldn’t you love to hear what he would have to say about our world today?!)

Heretics, I was surprised to read in this excellent lecture article by Dale Ahlq

Heretics, I was surprised to read in this excellent lecture article by Dale Ahlquist, Chestertonian expert, is one of his most neglected books even though one of his more important. That is indeed a shame because it is superb! Each chapter is a mini-essay about one person, group, or trend which he is critiquing. Although I was only familiar with two individuals mentioned—George Bernard Shaw and Rudyard Kipling—most of Chesterton’s main points were obvious enough and the quotes, as always, were magnificent!

Want to come back and read this slowly and carefully, making note of my favorite quotes.

Going on to something else now but planning to read Orthodoxy which is sort of like the sequel to Heretics as the former was written in response to the outcry which resulted from the publication of the latter.

EXCEPTIONAL!

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Jan 23, 2018: The thing I like best about G.K. Chesterton is the way he makes me stop short—and I do mean completely stop in my tracks—and say, “Wait, what did he just say?! Did he say what I think he said?”

Yes, he did! Once again, he made or helped me (not sure which) do a complete paradigm shift in my thinking. Lately I have struggled with how to advise my St. Vincent dePaul conference as to problem clients who deceive, scam, refuse to help themselves, etc. Given our limited resources this is cause for frustration to our members. The following quote may be some consolation for them. I know it gave me a new perspective on the situation:

“It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor; but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice. It is the undeserving who require it, and the ideal either does not exist at all, or exists wholly for them.”

I also LOVED his chapter on the newspapers. There is NOTHING new under the sun. He saw the American media for what it was back then. (sigh)

Still reading…
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Jonathan Terrington


4.5 Stars

The Oxford English Dictionary

Heretic: noun
a person believing in or practising religious heresy.
a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted.

Heretics is by G.K. Chesterton’s own admission, a work that merely serves to point out the ‘heresies’ contained within the popular veins of thought surrounding him in society. It seems odd that such a word as ‘heretic’ could be applied to what is popular, when it is known that heresy normally tends to be the opinion against p

The Oxford English Dictionary

Heretic: noun
a person believing in or practising religious heresy.
a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted.

Heretics is by G.K. Chesterton’s own admission, a work that merely serves to point out the ‘heresies’ contained within the popular veins of thought surrounding him in society. It seems odd that such a word as ‘heretic’ could be applied to what is popular, when it is known that heresy normally tends to be the opinion against popular opinion (in this case Chesterton). However, the manner in which Chesterton addresses these thinkers reveals that they hold deep flaws within their own belief systems and as such hold heretical views against themselves.

Where other authors would be inclined to scoff or mock the fallacies of other famous ‘artists’, thinkers and general scholars, Chesterton however does not lower himself to any such inelegant pursuit but rather aims to show these fallacies and expose them. He himself admits that he lacks precise answers to these questions. However his other work, Orthodoxy, itself serves to explain his answer to such questions as found in the Orthodox Christian faith.

Considering that Chesterton’s book is well over a century old it is incredible how applicable it is to today’s society. And this is because Chesterton as a writer discusses the general paradoxes of human living – like how seriousness and humour are assumed to be at opposites, when one can be funny and yet still very much serious in discussing a topic; or how one can dismiss ritual as ‘silly’ and yet stick to daily social rituals habitually. He also addresses the fallacies of life. And speaking of fallacies I was thinking of one today that I wish to discuss. The fallacy of the burden of proof.

Now this fallacy is the fallacy in which one can say ‘the burden of proof falls upon you to prove God exists.’ And of course it is then a fallacy to say ‘well you must prove he doesn’t’. I say this is a fallacy in that what this response ends up sounding like is ‘prove he does not’. It is not a rational response because one must be capable of ultimate knowledge – of knowing everything in order to know that God does not exist. Which does mean that one is equally likely to be correct whether taking a position that God exists or does not due to the possibilities of grasping hold of the information as to his existence or non-existence. What I believe about this is that it comes down to whoever is making the claim as to the existence to provide proof for their reasoning. Here is where I spy the problem: I tell you that my reasoning as to why God exists is a)answers to prayer and miracles, b)the signs around me in nature and life, c)the philosophy to do with the world and d)general faith. You listen to me explaining my reasoning and then you tell me that you don’t think that my evidence is necessarily rational or scientific. Of course to me for someone not to accept those reasons is fine, so long as they accept those reasons on a subjective level also. For I do not believe it is the job of science or mere rationality to necessarily answer questions about morality, spirituality, psychology, philosophy or ethics – they may provide part of the pathways to the answers but I do not see them as providing the answer. For how can the rational be used to prove what is spiritual or emotional? It is these kinds of questions which Chesterton deals with in his essays.

Whether you like to read about spirituality and faith I recommend Chesterton wholeheartedly. The man has a way of penning phrases exceptionally eloquently, never writing clumsily or in a rushed manner. In fact, Chesterton’s writing is for everyone as he also writes about literature, issues of the family and all manner of ideas that touch society at the core. He wrote over a century ago, but he still reaches through the pages of today and touches the hearts and minds of tomorrow.

This review is also on Booklikes: http://headspinningfromvagueness.book…
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