My older brother, Bradley, has a few running series of posts on his blog, which I warmly greet whenever they appear. In light of his postings, I’ve decided to try my hand at it. I call it, “Books You Should Read.” I know it’s a creative title and may need some explanation:
My series of posts will cover… books. And these are books that I think… wait for it… you should read. In all seriousness though, I thought this might be a good way for me to give a tribute to books that I find exceptional reads, highly worth someone else’s time, and/or have had a profound influence on me. Thankfully our first book meets all three of those!
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
Maybe we should have started with a more exciting title, right?
This book is anything but boring. This is his account of how he became a Christian, written at the age of 35 and published in 1908. It is, however, less autobiographical than it is observational. He does not waste words, he thinks deeply, and the only thing sharper than his arguments is his wit. I consider this book accessible to anyone who wants to take the time to read a relatively recent masterpiece of the Christian faith.
To give you a taste for his genius:
“A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough… It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again,” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again,” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
The full text is available on Google Books for free here, although I have a difficult time reading books (especially as dense as this one) online. The edition that I ended up liking (based on font/margin size… which makes a big difference for me in reading something like this) can be found here.