G. K. Chesterton, quoted in G. K. Chesterton: A Biography:

People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy… It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic… She [the Church] swerved to left and right, so exactly as to avoid enormous obstacles…. The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable…

It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one’s own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.

Dorothy Sayers, from Creed or Chaos?:

Official Christianity, of late years, has been having what is known as a bad press. We are constantly assured that the churches are empty because preachers insist too much upon doctrine—dull dogma as people call it. The fact is the precise opposite. It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness. The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man—and the dogma is the drama.

It is the dogma that is the drama—not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving-kindness and uplift, nor the promise of something nice after death—but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world, lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death. Show that to the heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that man might be glad to believe.

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2 thoughts on “The Whirling Adventure of Orthodoxy: 2 Quotes”

  1. It is also doctrine that is the basis of real grace (as opposed to vague sentimentalism). The is the fact that God has invaded history that is the basis of forgiveness. Otherwise we are left with just legalism. It may a harsh traditional legalism or a kinder gentler legalism, but it is still legalism.

  2. literally reading his book now after a high recommendation of a friend. Daily impressed with Gods world and the way it all works together- may I never lose the wonder.

    “tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.

    Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith) (1994-05-01). Orthodoxy (p. 49). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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