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Orthodoxy
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on October 11, 2016
Do NOT read this book if you are not ready to re-read a third of the sentences, as the words are sometimes long, laborious, and archaic. This is a fault of our age, however, and the points are best made in the voice of Chesterton himself. Bear this burden well, however, and you will be blessed.
Chesterton has a way of inverting and reversing commonly-held viewpoints and exposing their failings. Christianity is God becoming man so that He as a perfect man can bear the punishment of us all. How absurd, and yet it is true.
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on July 25, 2016
Chesterton displays a tremendous mastery of irony and the subtle contrast of meanings. But he way over does it. A little bit of spice can be good, but when it is added by the fistful it is hard to taste anything else. One can appreciate the genius of Chesterton, but if seems like he wanted the reader to be overwhelmed by it. Well, overwhelming it is, but not in a pleasant way.
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on October 23, 2013
The title of G. K. Chesterton's book, "Orthodoxy", made me expect at first a dry outline of the accepted tenets of Christianity. I expected him to delineate what we believe; I didn't expect him to show with such clarity and common-sense why we believe it.
He didn't begin from the perspective that Christianity was true. Instead, almost by process of elimination, he proved a hundred dead-ends to be not true, and further showed that what was lacking in each of them was present in the truth of Christianity.
He didn't start from the church as we know it today and work backwards, needing to strip it of controversy and confusion before he could reach a collection of pure facts - like one chipping away at a jewel to try to determine its components. Instead he began as if Christianity was just being discovered, describing the shining delight of the jewel when first seen.
Instead of answering questions about Christianity, he asked questions that the human heart has always asked - only to find that Christianity was the answer to all of them.
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on April 21, 2017
Chesterton is a master of the English language which comes at no surprise since he has written thousands of pieces throughout his life. Orthodoxy is a must read for any Christian or someone embarking the Christian path such as myself, Chesterton does not simply spin his own spiritual journey to Christ, but I would count Orthodoxy and Chesterton's words as part of my journey to Christ. This is a timeless piece, Chesterton is a man outside time, part of this world but not of it. He not only explains the sanity of religion but how Christianity is literally the perfect fit for truth and that orthodoxy is the way of a healthy life. The arguments in this book is more of a confirmation and healing to the mind and helps one better argue the finer points for traditional Christianity. This is certainly recommended as not only is it a timeless piece written in a fashion that so remarkably demonstrates a master writers fluidity of argument without any signs of rigidy, it is a piece that transcends the medium of written word and while reading this I felt as though I was hearing a lecture or in conversation by the great teacher and brother that is G.K. Chesterton.
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on June 30, 2015
I have been re reading this book regularly since the 1970's, when a copy "jumped" off a library shelf at me. The Kindle version makes it easier to find the good quotes I half remember but I'm never so sharp as the originals. For instance "Touchstone talked of much virtue in an 'if': according to elfin ethics, all virtue is in an 'if'...they may live in glass houses IF they will not throw stones" A bright and enticing introduction to Christianity, which I found helpful as a beginner, and comforting still 40 years later. It is poetic writing, not in the modern abbreviated style, and well worth the little effort it takes to read and love.
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on December 16, 2016
G. K. Chesterton's quick wit is on marvelous display in this book, showing the importance of orthodoxy. It was very thought provoking, and I will be chewing on it for a while. I originally picked up this book as I had heard it quoted many times. While it is a bit slow at times, it is all set up for masterful logical arguments.
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on July 19, 2016
I had read a few chapters of the book first. "Paradoxes of Christianity", I think. It was the first time I read anything by Chesterton. His writing was witty, funny, and confident. I found myself unable to stop - my mind was very stimulated by his writing. I read the chapter to my wife. She got hooked so we bought the book. Chapter 8, "The Romance of Orthodoxy" was rousing! We found ourselves cheering for Chesterton while he throws a dangerous combination of punches into secularism. But this book! It will strengthen your faith.
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on May 13, 2016
The price is right! (Free because of some generous volunteers.) This is a famous book in Christian circles. Chesterton's logic still applies today. The comments of his detractors are actually still current also. I find it best to read quickly and not get caught up in the intricate language. I am about half way through. I think I will read it again more slowly after I get the whole picture from the first read. It could be that I am just not that smart.

As a side note, I really enjoy the Father Brown mysteries. Very clever.
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on March 26, 2014
In perhaps his most quotable work, which is considered a classic in Christian apologetics, G.K. Chesterton shows how Christianity is not just a reasonable faith to hold, but the most reasonable and how it is actually unreasonable to hold beliefs contrary to it. Written in the time and culture greatly affected by “rationalism,” one can see the very specific targets and responses that inspired this particular work. While it is used and revered amongst all Christian denominations, Chesterton also shows his Catholicism in defending his “Orthodox” or “traditional” beliefs. Chesterton also defends the idea of objective truth, which today is constantly under attack by the idea of relativism. Since Christianity has often been attacked as unreasonable and is continually done so today, Chesterton seeks to show the reasonability of Christianity; especially the aspect of Christianity that is least understood and most attacked – its reliance on paradox. Chesterton was considered by all, except jokingly perhaps maybe himself, an extremely intelligent and charitable mind in debating the great questions, many of which he discusses here. Though not considered as powerful, evangelistic or personal as his other classic, The Everlasting Man, this book will equip the modern man, or post-modern man, with the tools needed to defend one’s faith, especially the Christian faith, in the face of the recycled objections, He states that when one is honestly seeking the Truth, without the impediment of one’s desires, one will find God, Jesus and His Church.

Some memorable quotes in Orthodoxy:
“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.”
“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.”
“Tradition is only democracy extended through time.”

Original Publication Year: 1908
Pages: approx. 168
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on June 5, 2015
As the saying goes there are those who like to hear themselves talk. Well Chesterton liked to read himself write. After a few chapters I liked to read what he wrote too. A lot of contemporary thought and thinkers was lost on me as was a full 30% of his analogy but I will surrender his letters over anything I will obtain and his brilliance brighter than I can discern.

Still there are unshakeable arguments for the Christian faith here. And his delight in being clever is contageuous. There were places we both laughed together as little boys across the decades. As brothers really. He the older teaching me the younger.

I need to cast this book in European history for its irony and prophetic character can only been fully discovered in its spot in chronology.

But to be sure, read this book.
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