Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Quotes - G. K. Chesterton on Doctrine

On early Christianity:  It was no flock of sheep the Christian shepherd was leading, but a herd of bulls and tigers, of terrible ideals and devouring doctrines, each one of them strong enough to turn to a false religion and lay waste the world. . . . The idea of birth through the Holy Spirit, of the death of a divine being, of the forgiveness of sins, or the fulfillment of prophecies, are ideas which need but a touch to turn them into something blasphemous or ferocious. . . .  This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. . . . It is the equilibrium of a 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. (from Orthodoxy)

When the journalist says for the thousandth time, "Living religion is not in dull and dusty dogmas, etc.," we must say, "There you go, wrong at the very start." If he would condescend to ask what the dogmas are, he would find out that it is precisely the dogmas that are living, that are inspiring, that are intellectually interesting.  Zeal and charity and unction are admirable as flowers and fruit; but if you are really interested in the living principle you must be interested in the root or the seed. . . . . The dogmas are not dull.  Even what are called the fine doctrinal distinctions are not dull.  They are like the finest operations of surgery; separating nerve from nerve, but giving life.  It is easy enough to flatten out everything around for miles with dynamite, if our object is to give death.  But just as the physiologist is dealing with living tissues so the theologian is dealing with living ideas; (from The Thing)

(Culled from The Truest Fairy Tale)

No comments: