If C.S. Lewis is the Protestant apologist beloved by both Catholics and Protestants, G.K. Chesterton is the Catholic apologist adored by both groups as well.
Chesterton grew up in London and had a very successful career as a journalist, novelist, poet, literary critic, and lay theologian. He was well known for his witty writing style and his passion for Christianity. His essay Everlasting Man was said to contribute to C.S. Lewis’s conversion to Christianity.
Today would be Chesterton’s 146th birthday if he were alive today. To celebrate my favorite Christian apologist, here are twelve of our favorite quotes by him related to faith, freedom, flourishing, and everything in between.
“It is perfectly obvious that in any decent occupation (such as bricklaying or writing books) there are only two ways (in any special sense) of succeeding. One is by doing very good work, the other is by cheating.”
–“The Fallacy of Success,” All Things Considered
“Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities.”
–What’s Wrong with the World
“The only object of liberty is life.”
“By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men.”
–Illustrated London News
“Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”
–Christendom in Dublin
“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”
–Illustrated London News
“The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”
“Dear Sir: Regarding your article ‘What’s Wrong with the World,’ I am. Yours truly.”
–What’s Wrong With The World
“According to most philosophers, God in making the world enslaved it. According to Christianity, in making it, He set it free. God had written, not so much a poem, but rather a play; a play he had planned as perfect, but which had necessarily been left to human actors and stage-managers, who had since made a great mess of it.”
“The more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.”
“Love means loving the unlovable – or it is no virtue at all.”
“You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion.”
–“How I Met the President”
On “Flashback Friday,” we publish some of IFWE’s former posts that are worth revisiting. This post was first published on May 29, 2015, on Chesterton’s 141st birthday.
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