Chapter three of Chesterton's Orthodoxy was a chapter I weathered more than enjoyed. In it Chesterton reviews the philosophical thought of his times, citing such men as Nietzsche, Tolstoy, and Shaw and others less well known. Always one to blast an opponent with generosity and humor he cites Mr. Bernard Shaw as typifying his times in … Continue reading The Suicide of Thought–Chesterton
"Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness. Believing utterly in one's self is a hysterical and superstitious belief like believing in Joanna Southcote." --G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, p.10 [Southcote was a self-proclaimed but deluded prophetess in late eighteenth century England]. When asked by a publisher friend: "Well, if a man is … Continue reading G.K. on “The Sin of Self-Confidence”
...how very quickly, in my own experience, the lawful pleasure of praise from those whom it was my duty to please turns into the deadly poison of self-admiration. But I thought I could detect a moment—a very, very short moment—before this happened, during which the satisfaction of having pleased those whom I rightly loved and … Continue reading Oh that will be glory for me!
If Christianity could tell me no more of the far-off land than my own temperament led me to surmise already, then Christianity would be no higher than myself. If it has more to give me, I must expect it to be less immediately attractive than “my own stuff”.... If our religion is something objective, then … Continue reading When Scripture is Repellent
“Christian consciousness experiences itself in a curious sense as LIBERATED TO FAIL, without intolerable damage to self-esteem and without any reduction of moral seriousness. We are free to be inadequate, free to foul things up, and yet affirm ourselves in a more basic sense than the secular moralist or humanistic idealist (who can affirm themselves … Continue reading Free to fail!
January is my time of year for creating ambitious book lists. I dove into this year's reading with three books at once-- Chesterton's Orthodoxy, Pressfield's War of Art, and a creative biography mixed with personal memoir, The Paper Garden. But all of these took a back seat to Elizabeth Goudge's The Scent of Water when … Continue reading The Scent of Water*
'… and then there were the dead leaves and the brilliant mosses and the mushrooms…' Well, with this post the collective enjoyment of Wendell Berry's tale of the bachelor barber of Port William over at Michele's place comes to an end. We've been at it since September and now must lay to rest our observations … Continue reading Jayber Crow–Chapters 30-32, the finale!
If you are looking for my latest thoughts on Jayber Crow discussing Chapters 27-29 please go here. Today I wanted to post an excerpt from a poem by Wendell Berry on his opinion regarding theology, as some of us at Michele's place have been wondering how to pin down Berry's beliefs as they seep into … Continue reading The theology behind Jayber
Well, the days of reading Jayber Crow with the faithful folks at Michele Morin's LIVING OUR DAYS blog are winding down. This is the next to the last set of chapters and Jayber is making a fresh start at a slower quieter pace away from the demands of Inspectors and an official occupation, at the … Continue reading Jayber Crow–Chapters 27-29
The Inevitability and Effects of Athey's Aging... These chapters held a lot of sadness, intermingled with hopefulness. I guess that's pretty much the story of life in a sin-damaged world. Troy and Mattie's little Jimmy grows up, the glad disciple of Athey He was learning something of the use of judgment. He was excited by … Continue reading Jayber Crow–Chapters 24-26