chesterton's "orthodoxy"

a student loaned me his copy of G.K. Chesterton's, Orthodoxy.  i'm into the 2nd chapter and so far i have to say i'm fascinated and ready to keep reading...

highlight thus far...the question, "what keeps people sane?"

the answer:

"Mysticism keeps men sane.  As long as you have mystery you have health, when you destroy mystery you create morbidity.  The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic.  He has permitted the twilight.  He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland."

i'm excited to see where he's going with this.  i see "mystery" as a sort of throwback concept in recent years.  they say [i don't know who "they" are, so don't bother asking!] that younger evangelicals are embracing the mysterious elements of Christian faith.  younger folks are turning more and more to Orthodox and Catholic faith.  younger folks are interested in liturgy and the church year.  

is it true?  speaking as a younger evangelical who has interacted with many of my peers, YES.  we are seeking authenticity, and in that quest for authentic faith we are finding that entertainment driven expressions of faith and worship not only do not represent our hearts, but do not represent well the heart of the gospel.

have you seen this shift?  how are we doing with "mystery"?  are we fighting or embracing mystery?

personally, i'm enjoy keeping one foot in "fairyland"!


Ingrid said...

Hurrah for mystery. 'Reason' is way overrated.

And hurrah for G.K. Chesterton. I'll have to check out that one too. I just read his "St. Francis of Assisi" for my thesis.

A highlight: "But whereas in a court there is one king and a hundred courtiers, in this story there was one courtier, moving among a hundred kings. For he treated the whole mob of men as a mob of kings. . . . No plans or proposals or effecient rearrangements will give back to a broken man his self-respect and sense of speaking with an equal. One gesture will do it."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for looking at my blog. It's always nice to see a comment from someone I don't know personally. Ever since I read Brian McLaren's A Generous Orthodoxy I've been meaning to read Chesterton. He seems like a cool cat. The first section of my seminary thesis dealt with mystery and I'd love to send it to you if you pop me your email address (mailto:wherethewind.com)

Katherine E. said...

Totally agree. Mystery and authenticity are related, perhaps paradoxically.

Love the Chesterton quote...one of those things that when I read it I remembered it. Thanks.