The Spectacle Blog

Saint Gilbert?

By on 8.9.13 | 10:52AM

The bishop from G.K. Chesterton's former archdiocese is now considering opening the cause for the canonization of this "prince of paradox." 

You can read more details of the cause for Chesterton's sainthood here, but any opportunity to explore the depths of this man's thought is always one worth taking. And in two of his most celebrated works, Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man, Chesterton offers wonderful wit and wisdom -- as he is wont to do.

In particular, the passages I'd like to quote from are ones conservatives should heed, especially in this epoch in which our points of view are pushed aside as backward, bigoted, and behind the times.

From that "thrilling romance" that is Orthodoxy:

An imbecile habit has arisen in modern controversy of saying that such and such a creed can be held in one age but cannot be held in another. Some dogma, we are told, was credible in the twelfth century, but is not credible in the twentieth. You might as well say that a certain philosophy can be believed on Mondays, but cannot be believed on Tuesdays. You might as well say of a view of the cosmos that it was suitable to half-past three, but not suitable to half-past four. What a man can believe depends upon his philosophy, not upon the clock or the century.

And in The Everlasting Man, Chesterton provides the ultimate example:

Whatever else is true, it is emphatically not true that the ideas of Jesus of Nazareth were suitable to his time, but are no longer suitable to our time. Exactly how suitable they were to his time is perhaps suggested in the end of his story.

The rest of both of these works is well worth reading if you haven't done so already.

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