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Philip Yancey Recommends: Orthodoxy


Publisher writes

'Why anyone would pick up a book with that formidable title eludes me,' writes Philip Yancey of G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. 'But one day I did so and my faith has never recovered. I was experiencing a time of spiritual dryness in which everything seemed stale, warmed over, lifeless. Orthodoxy brought freshness and, above all, a new spirit of adventure.' 'We direly need another Chesterton today, I think. In a time when culture and faith have drifted even further apart, we could use his brilliance, his entertaining style, and above all his generous and joyful spirit. He managed to propound the Christian faith with as much wit, good humour and sheer intellectual force as anyone in this century.' Since its first publication in 1908, this classic work has represented a pivotal step in the adoption of a credible faith by many other Christian thinkers, including C. S. Lewis. Written as a spiritual autobiography, it stands as a remarkable and inspirational apologetic for Christianity.

Author Information

G K Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton ranks alongside C. S. Lewis as one of the twentieth century's leading Christian thinkers and writers. He is perhaps best known for his much-loved Father Brown series of detective stories. Philip Yancey, who introduces this book, is editor of Christianity Today and himself a bestselling author.

Judges' and contributors' comments

Malcolm Guite: Hugely influential, but still highly readable and exciting and engaging.

Rupert Shortt: Lapidary. ‘Christianity hasn’t been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.’ Every sentence is like that.

John Pridmore: Chesterton piles piercing paradox on piercing paradox, not as a firework display, but to serve his entirely serious argument that Christian Orthodoxy makes sense – just as fairy tales do.

Mike Starkey: Swashbuckling defence of historic Christianity from the creator of the Father Brown stories. Still fresh more than 100 years on.

Reader comments

Rod Manning, Mackay, Qld. Australia

26 October 2014 @ 13:07

In January, 1956, I was a 21-year old native of Mackay, Queensland, Australia, who had travelled by boat and, on the Continent by train, to England with copies of Orthodoxy by Chesterton and The Path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc in my suitcase. I had purchased both books following reviews by Niall Brennan (a well known author) in a journal called News Weekly then on sale at my Catholic parish church in Mackay. Orthodoxy had prompted further reading of Chesterton books, poems, essays. So, very impressed, (I still am) I turned up at Chesterton's old home Top Meadow, Beaconsfield, then (from my ancient memory) on the outskirts of London. It was, I think, conducted by the Converts Aid Society. I was well received at Top Meadow and introduced to the late Chesterton's secretary the friendly Dorothy Collins. Ms Collins and I had a quite lengthy chat and she invited me to visit her at a later date at her nearby home for afternoon tea.This I did and there met her friend Judith Lea. Over a cup of tea Ms Collins spoke very interestingly and informatively of Chesterton and his work and gave me a couple of Chesterton mementoes. Both Ms Collins and Ms Lea signed my copy of Orthodoxy. I opened it up tonight (28/9/2014 Aust time), looked at the signatures and date, and saw that I had noted Dorothy Collins' death at 93 in 1988. Wonderful memories of delightful people. Also at Top Meadow, first visit, I met a Mr Davies who as an Anglican minister, had preached a mission at a small centre Walkerston, about eight miles from where I lived in Australia. He was resident (temporary I suppose) at Top Meadow. He was another friendly and interesting person. Also, from a window in the (rather cheap) accommodation I had at West Kensington I could see the early Chesterton family home, suitably identified with a plaque. I am indeed fortunate. Great to see Orthodoxy on the list which appears to be an excellent selection (I have read a few, know of a few more and, of course, regrettably, not heard of quite a few others). Thanks for the opportunity to make a comment.

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