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G. K. Chesterton: The Everlasting Man - a timely reflection today


Aug 8, 2003
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Would anyone like to read this great book written by G.K. Chesterton and make some civil notations while doing so? I have purposely put this thread into the Catholic-Orthodox Discussion Forum so that intelligent questions can be asked in light of what is going on today. Is this book relative to today's concerns? Was G.K. Chesterton prophetic?

This book of 175 pages was published in 1925 and now is in the public domain, so one can now freely quote from this document linked above.

An excerpt from the Prefatory Note on page 3:

It is impossible, I hope, for any Catholic to write any book on any subject, above all this subject, without showing that he is a Catholic; but this study is not specially concerned with the differences between a Catholic and a Protestant. Much of it is devoted to many sorts of Pagans rather than any sort of Christians and its thesis is that those who say that Christ stands side by side with similar myths, and his religion side by side with similar religions, are only repeating a very stale formula contradicted by a very striking fact.
Next an excerpt from the Introduction on page 4. In this introduction, G. K. Chesterton talks about those who have left Christianity, but who have not quite left it as they still hate Christianity. In other words, they are carrying baggage and cannot be objective.

... But these people have got into an intermediate state, have fallen into an intervening valley from which they can see neither the heights beyond them nor the heights behind. They cannot get out of the penumbra of Christian controversy. They cannot be Christians and they can not leave off being Anti-Christians. Their whole atmosphere is the atmosphere of a reaction: sulks, perversity, petty criticism. They still live in the shadow of the faith and have lost the light of the faith.  ...

... It is the contention of these pages that while the best judge of Christianity is a Christian, the next best judge would be something more like a Confucian.