LIVING WITH A WILD GOD: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything by Barbara Ehrenreich, 2014 Having grown up to affirm the Christian faith I was introduced to as a child, I am naturally curious to hear others' stories of coming to faith or of rejecting faith. I'm interested especially in how their childhood … Continue reading Living with a Wild God–Ehrenreich
I'm reading Alain de Botton's book How Proust Can Change your Life, because it seemed a quicker way to discover the best bits of Proust's In Search of Lost Time than taking that great slow-moving volume down from my bookshelf and spending time with it... In the chapter entitled How to be a Good Friend De Botton describes … Continue reading On the limitations of conversation
In Orthodoxy Chesterton has charted for us his 'own growth in spiritual certainty'. In this final chapter he gives assurance that this path was firmly based on rational considerations, which at first fly in the face of the rationalist's 'reasons', but on a closer look are really quite reasonable. But the best bit of reading Chesterton, … Continue reading Orthodoxy Concluded!
All modern philosophies are chains which connect and fetter; Christianity is a sword which separates and sets free. No other philosophy makes God actually rejoice in the separation of the universe into living souls. p.200 Chesterton was a brilliant philosophiser with a quirky way of saying things. His witty remarks redeem for me the hard … Continue reading The Huge Synthesis of Humbug!
James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was shunned in its day (1916) for bringing the unpleasant and unseemly to print. It is a moody coming-of-age story that mirrors James Joyce's own life growing up in the shadow of the Irish Roman Catholic church and its schools. "a mosaic of jagged fragments that … Continue reading A Portrait of Faith Lost
Graham Green's book first flagged my attention because Terry Glaspey of Great Books of the Christian Tradition--And Other Books Which Have Shaped Our World lists it as one of his Top Ten Favorite Novels of all time. When I noted my own favorites--Anna Karenina and Les Miserables and The Brothers K (by James Duncan) also on … Continue reading The Power and the Glory!
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is a democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. p.64-5 In a generation that is quick to suspect (and scorn) all that is 'old-school', Chesterton's … Continue reading Orthodoxy: The Ethics of Elfland
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”
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*