Sunday, January 2, 2011

Thoughts on The Quotable Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton is a thought-provoking writer that is said to have inspired C.S. Lewis with his book The Everlasting Man. I have several Chesterton books on my shelf and his works are quite varied but equally magnificent. His Father Brown mysteries are the most accessible of his works, but he is also well known for his book Orthodoxy. This book I received was a compilation of quotes from many of his books. It is called The Quotable Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton's books are full of wonderful quotes, so it is doubly delightful to see them catalogued here in one book. For those that know and have read Chesterton, this book will be a delight, for those that don't, I hope this will inspire them to read the books these quotes originate from to better appreciate them.

Here's some of my favorite quotes I've had through the years:
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”—G. K. Chesterton

“There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.” —G. K. Chesterton

“The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.”—G. K. Chesterton

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”—G. K. Chesterton

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”—G. K. Chesterton

“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?”—G. K. Chesterton

"Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried." -- G. K. Chesterton

The New York Times (Ross Douthat) did an opinion article on Chesterton several months ago and stated this:

"Part of what makes Chesterton appealing to so many readers is also what makes him frustrating if you approach his writing looking for straightforward, syllogistic argument — namely, that his appeals on behalf of Christianity (or any other cause) tend to rove from history to philosophy to intuition to revelation to politics to aesthetics and then back to history again, with all different sorts of arguments crowding in together, and no necessary A=B=C thread to follow all the way through. He is not an “irrationalist,” as Bramwell suggests, but he isn’t Plato either. But then again neither are most people: They justify what they believe, whether it’s about God or political order or love or any other aspect of human affairs, based on a mishmash of different facts, ideas, experiences, premises, impulses, and so forth. And Chesterton succeeds as a polemicist, if not as a philosopher, because his style of argument fits so well with this very common, and very natural, way of human thought."

I think most anyone would find great value and though in this book, and it is well worth having it on your bookshelf.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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