A while back I posted that I was going to begin reading G.K. Chesterson's, "Orthodoxy". This was before my current study in C.S. Lewis and before my interest in theology was piqued. I had printed off the e-text of this short book (thanks to the good folks over at CCEL.org) and eagerly started it, only to find that it wasn't quite what I expected. I guess I was thinking it would be more "doctrinal" and less "philosophical."
Well, this past week, I was short on reading (ha ha) and was cleaning out my desk (the dreaded "hidden zone" where things go to die) and I found this e-book. In Jacob's biography of Lewis, he shares how this particular work impacted Jack's life during a period where he was "seeking" truth (between his atheist and conversion stages). I thought I should give it a go again and see what all the fuss was about.
So, I sat down and surprize, surprize...I read it cover to cover. In truth, it took me two days -- Chesterson is a delightful writer -- but not as easy to read as one might think from his "Father Brown" stories. I found the entire book confusing and difficult whilst being brilliant and beyond time and space. Does that make sense? Probably not, unless you too have read it. Chesterson's understanding of modernism is par excellent and his perception into the mind of modern man gave me a shiver. As I read through page after page with highlighter in hand, I kept saying to myself "yes, I know someone just like this!" His characterization of the materialist (what I would call the post-modernist man) was so right on target that one would think he was writing about our day and age and not the turn of the century (last century!)
I have to say that overall I was bowled-over by his depth and ability to analyze our society. His arguement for orthodoxy confirmed to me that indeed his is correct. There is security in a standard model and that while we may all divide on small issues, in the greater cosmos, we are as one (at least those of us in the Church).