Bits Of G.K. Chesterton

While not a father of the faith in the same vein as others who have been featured in this “Bits Of” series, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was a man of staunch faith, uncommon intellect, and delightful wit. He was a prolific and versatile writer producing fiction (widely known for his detective fiction and the character of Father Brown), non-fiction, poetry, and plays. Chesterton excelled at Christian apologetics and loved to debate. His penned wisdom has a large and loyal following. Below are a few examples from a man who was a fearless champion of the faith.

“Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”

“If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.”

“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.”

“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”

“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It’s that they can’t see the problem.”

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

“No man who worships education has got the best out of education… Without a gentle contempt for education no man’s education is complete.”

“Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all.”

“A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition.”

“A yawn is a silent shout.”

“Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.”

“If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride.”

“The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted: precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden.”

“There are only two kinds of social structure conceivable—personal government and impersonal government. If my anarchic friends will not have rules—they will have rulers. Preferring personal government, with its tact and flexibility, is called Royalism. Preferring impersonal government, with its dogmas and definitions, is called Republicanism. Objecting broadmindedly both to kings and creeds is called Bosh; at least, I know no more philosophic word for it.”

“It is idle to talk against representative government or for it. All government is representative government until it begins to decay. Unfortunately (as is also evident) all government begins to decay the instant it begins to govern.”

“Youth is the period in which a man can be hopeless. The end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged.”

“Love is not blind; that is the last thing it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.”

“How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.”

“Jesus promised the disciples three things – that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy and in constant trouble.”

“Tolerance is the virtue of men who don’t believe in anything.”

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

Original Content: Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
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