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)

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"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.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"To tell the priest to throw away theology and impress us with his personality, is exactly like telling the doctor to throw away physiology and merely hypnotize us with his glittering eye."

The preacher is told to cast aside all systems and speak out of his own heart, or (in favourable cases) out of his own head. It does not seem to occur to these critics that they are making the priest or preacher much more important than he was before. They are demanding from him a genius and originality which cannot be expected from all the individual members of any profession. The poor ordinary parson is not allowed to teach what he has learnt, a certain system of religious thought. But he is expected, all by himself, to be a sort of compound of Savonarola and Swedenborg and M. Coué. All men are not born mesmerists or prose poets or persons of magnetic personality. But all men can expound a rational scheme of religion and morals, if there is one to expound.

The truth is that creed and dogma are the only things that make preaching tolerable. A system of thought can be explained by any reasonably thinking man; but it does not follow that the thinking man is a thinker. The case is very much the same as that of the medical authority of the general practitioner. We do not expect every ordinary G.P. to be a person like Pasteur or Lister or some great medical discoverer. But we do expect him to know the system he has been taught; the creed and dogma of his profession. To tell the priest to throw away theology and impress us with his personality, is exactly like telling the doctor to throw away physiology and merely hypnotize us with his glittering eye. People are very fond of making unjust complaints about preachers, as they are of making equally unjust complaints about doctors. But they have not yet got so far as complaining of doctors because they know their business, and because they regard it as a science. And the preacher, even the very worst preacher, would be infinitely more empty and dreary than he is if he had never regarded theology as a science. What makes his preaching tolerable, at its worst, is that he is, after all, in some sense giving us the thoughts of great men like St. Paul or St. Augustine, or even Calvin, and not merely the thoughts of a small man unassisted by any tradition of greatness. I do not know what advice will be given to the preacher by most of the distinguished persons who will probably advise him. But a melancholy familiarity with most current thought, or thoughtlessness, leads me to advise him to listen to it, and then do the opposite.
-Come to Think of It (1930)

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