G.K. Chesterton, Theologian
Publisher: Sophia Institute Press
Publication Date: 2009-08-15
One of the greatest Catholic minds of the twentieth century was a journalist, playwright, novelist, literary critic, poet, cartoonist, essayist, broadcaster, and even president of the Detection Club.
But he was also a theologian.
G. K. Chesterton, famous for defending Christian belief in his books Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man (the latter helped to convert C.S. Lewis) could not help thinking theologically even when he was making jokes and his writings illuminate the profoundest religious themes.
In his hands, Christian truth is rescued from becoming a purely academic exercise. He gives us an "experience of the fullness and many-sidedness of the truth, in which the Christian can romp without a care" (Balthasar).
In fact, like Lewis, Chesterton, who was one of the great converts of the twentieth century, draws us directly into an encounter with the Word of God, showing us the faith of the Church as most of us have never seen it before. No wonder Pope Benedict XVI tells us that "in every age the path to faith can take its bearings by converts."
But Chesterton wrote so much literally millions of words in thousands of essays and books that the average reader may feel daunted. There has never been one book that introduces his thoughts on God and the Church ... until now, courtesy of the wise Dominican priest, Aidan Nichols.
In these pages, Fr. Nichols has gathered the most powerful theological passages from the many works of Chesterton, and included his own concise explanations of the keen and sometimes surprising ways they illuminate the most profound questions ever asked by man.
Readers new to Chesterton as well as his lifelong fans will delight in the fresh light he sheds here on the existence of God, the nature of man, the meaning of Christ, and the universal call to holiness, which in these pages rings out as loudly as it did when G.K. Chesterton first wrote these words over a century ago.
This book made me want to stop my life and read all of Chesterton's works. Of course, that's not likely to happen anytime soon, so I value even more Dale Ahlquist's expert summarizing of some of Chesterton's most important work. His chapters are easy to read and whet the appetite for more. I find myself referring back to what I've read here when I read one of Chesterton's books.
This book serves as both an indispensable reference and a work of great writing in its own right. Ahlquist has done a service to the rest of us by making Chesterton accessible.