Chesterton & Calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by caddy, Aug 19, 2008.

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  1. caddy

    caddy Puritan Board Senior

    Listening to Chesterton's Book "Orthodoxy" on IPOD, it was interesting to hear some of his remarks on Calvinism.

    Antithesis at

    Between Two Worlds: How A Roman Catholic Anti-Calvinist Can Serve Today’s Poet-Calvinists


    Welcome to the Fallout » Blog Archive » Chesterton and Calvinism

    My Lack of a Problem with G.K. Chesterton — Lawrence Salberg

    Chesterton’s Un-charitable Presentation of Calvin at Per Caritatem

    Quotable G.K. Chesterton Weekend « Miscellanies

    Which is why I find "Protestants" who toss out Chesterton quotes so amazingly inconsistent, like this one:
    "The Catholic Church is like a thick steak, a glass of red wine, and a good cigar."

    Really? Well, if so, then the steak will give you Mad Cow, the glass of wine contains just a few drops of cyanide, and the cigar is laced with radioactive materials.
    When we have brilliant, godly, Scripturally sound men like Edwards, or Spurgeon, or Warfield to read, who never once profaned the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ with words and beliefs like those expressed above by O'Brien, and whose insights to this day are compelling and convicting, why do we play games with quotes like Chesterton's? Play with a loaded gun long enough, and it may well go off.

  2. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Chesterton didn't become a Roman Catholic until 1922, when he was 48. So, he was bound to be somewhat overzealous in his remarks, I suppose.

    He was a brilliant writer with an engaging mind. I read him quite frequently. Part of his brilliance has to do with his use of paradox in his writings, using it to set up the points he wants to make.

    As for his Catholicism, as an ex-Catholic myself, I just ignore it and pay attention to the good stuff.
  3. caddy

    caddy Puritan Board Senior

    Absolutely Richard. I have quite a large library of Chesterton I built up over 20 years ago. I wrote a few papers on him in College. Fascinating man.
  4. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    You don't seem quite that sanquine about him in your OP...
  5. caddy

    caddy Puritan Board Senior

    I ended on a quote from Aomin ( James White's site ). I find I need to temper or sift him through new lens these days. I actually need to thoroughly read all the links I posted. Still working on that. I am intrigued by the brilliance and sheer depth of knowledge he possessed yet, it seems, he missed the boat on Reformed thinking--or did he?
  6. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    In Chesterton's case, I think he denigrated Calvinistic Reformed thought because he didn't take the time to understand it. Besides, when he was in his prime during the early decades of the last century, Calvinism wasn't exactly a hot topic in Britain, as in the States - the old theological liberalism being all the rage.
  7. caddy

    caddy Puritan Board Senior

    Sometimes we are simply a product of our age and the current thinking huh? :think: :um:
  8. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I think there may be quite a simple explanation. Chesterton didn't have a spirit of fair play when it came to argument. And since he is so talented at stylish abuse, he can heap it upon any position. But if anything, it should give us pause. No doubt he said many true and vigorous things in opposition to error; but given how he misreprents the thing we happen to know most about, he should not be taken as a reliable guide to the facts of the matter on any thing. What he loves, he seems to love rather blindly; what he hates, equally. Maybe he was blinded by the brilliance of his own language.
  9. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    :confused:How can we know that he said true things while at the same time we can't take him as a reliable guide to the facts of the matter on any thing?
  10. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Because it is fortunately possible to check many of his facts and test many of his conclusions. Think about Luther: we might question whether his glorious exaggerations are always quite fair; but we're not about to deny that he has any value as a polemicist.
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