A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)

_____________________

"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.




Friday, December 14, 2012

"...if they had a few more dogmas they might have a few less decrees."

If there was one thing reiterated and re-echoed in all our papers, pamphlets, and books, it was that the coming religion must be a "free religion." Whatever else it was (people said) it must avoid the old mistake of rule and regimentation of dogmas launched from an international centre, of authority sitting on a central throne. No pope must control the preacher- no council, even; it was doubtful whether any church or congregation had the right. All the idealistic journalism of the nineteenth century.....repeated, like a chime of bells, that the new creed must be the creed of souls set free.

And all the time the new creeds were growing up. The one or two genuine religious movements of the nineteenth century had come out of the soul of the nineteenth century; and they were despotic from top to bottom. General Booth had based a big theological revival on the pure notion of military obedience. In title and practice he was far more papal than a pope. A pope is supreme, like a judge; he says the last word. But the General was supreme- like a general. He said the first word, which was also the last; he initiated all the activities, gave orders for all the enthusiasms. The idealistic Liberal journalists...fell headlong into the trap of this tremendous autocracy, still faintly shrieking that the Church of the future must be free....

...Religion is the sub-consciousness of an age. Our age has been superficially chattering about change and freedom. But sub-consciously it has believed far too much in barbaric and superstitious authority; it has worshiped strong men, it has asked for protection in everything....

I do not agree with the moderns either in the extreme anarchy of their theory or in the extreme autocracy of their practice. I even have the feeling that if they had a few more dogmas they might have a few less decrees. I merely point out that what we say when we are criticising churches is startlingly different from what we do when we are making churches; and that this illustrates the failure of our phraseology.

-December 24, 1910, Illustrated London News

No comments: