What you believe about God matters.
Is He malleable, pliable, well-intentioned, but out of touch?
A bit like you, only ever-so-much-more-so?
Can you embrace the reality of a transcendent, crucified God who preceded matter
and interrupted the natural order “to save mankind in the awful shape of man?” (217)
What you believe about humanity matters.
Are we ever-improving, well-intentioned, but weak of heart?
A bit like God, only fatally subject to “common nonsense?” (212)
Far from the stuff of ivory towers,
my answer to these questions
flows like blood in the veins of my concept of morality,
stands like bones in the framework of my convictions on the boundaries of liberty and the nature of progress.
Orthodoxy reads the red letters of social justice alongside the venom of the angry psalms and the stories of Old Testament genocide and worships at the feet of God, incomprehensible.
Orthodoxy celebrates the boundaries of law as a “wall round the cliff’s edge” that shields God’s children from the “naked peril of the precipice.” (216) The orthodox dance with abandon inside the freedom of that wall of safety, singing and rejoicing within pleasure’s open-handed framework.
Orthodoxy is the exhale from newborn lungs, sweet and fragrant with contagious life, relieved to have left choking dogma behind in exchange for evidence that miracles actually do happen.
Orthodoxy is not deceived by the pull of lesser gods, but has discerned by grace that “just as the sun and the moon looked the same size” at first glance, a right understanding of the universe soon reveals that “the sun is immeasurably our master, and the small moon only our satellite.” (229)
The orthodox heart lives in anticipation, “always expecting to see some truth that she has never seen before” and always seeking “the fixed meaning” of everything, which will be revealed either in this life or the next. (231) She looks at the utilitarian rake and imagines fruition and flowers, at original sin and finds empathy. She embraces sorrow and mourning as part of being human, because underneath all of creation lies the truth that “joy . . . is the gigantic secret of the Christian.” (238)
And thus ends our journey through all nine chapters and 200 plus pages of G.K. Chesterton’s thoughts on Orthodoxy!
I am grateful for your partnership in this adventure. Be sure to share your own thoughts in the comments below, and if you have written a blog post about the book, leave a link so we can continue the conversation at your place.
Because what we think about God matters,
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