Here is the book that converted C. S. Lewis from atheism to Christianity. This history of mankind, Christ, and Christianity is to some extent a conscious rebuttal of H. G. Wells' Outline of History, which embraced both the evolutionary origins of humanity and the mortal humanity of Jesus. Whereas Orthodoxy detailed Chesterton's own spiritual journey, this book illustrates the spiritual journey of humanity, or at least of Western civilization. A book for both mind and spirit.
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A winding adventure well-with traveling
I love reading GK Chesterton because his theology always reads like a winding adventure through an introspective narrative rather than a categorized, systematic list of beliefs and heresies. Although this may seem redundant and pointless to the reader desiring a quick-fix of information, I say a big "Amen" to Chesterton's words in the first Appendix of this book, "The things that are seen so quickly, they are forgotten almost as quickly". The Everlasting Man is no exception of this philosophy. Although it will take a long while to process each chapter I've read and all the sections I have highlighted, there were many moments throughout this book when all it took was reading one of his simple sentences after a long explanation for the lightbulb to go off and a new door to swing open with a fresh new understanding. Even in the pages containing the most dense material, I find myself at various moments chuckling at his wit, gaping at his paradoxes, and desiring his humble boldness for the heart of the Gospel. Speaking of the Gospel, Chesterton puts it best in this book that although the world around us ages, the Gospel becomes fresher and newer. To him it is obvious that the Gospel is so much more than the answer to the question of "How do I get to heaven?"; it quenches the universal thirst of the world both in the here-and-now and in the future. Also, the way in which he makes the Gospel message distinct from all other philosophies and mythologies is both refreshing and reassuring, especially in a 21st century world overrun with existential tendencies. And that is another reason why Chesterton's work is great, because it is timeless. Even though it was written in the 1920's, his explanations in The Everlasting Man speak to debates and discussions in politics, philosophy and religion that are happening to this very day. For all these reasons, all aspiring theologians, preachers, and messengers of the Gospel should make the well-deserving effort to read and reflect GK Chesterton's thoughts in The Everlasting Man and his other works as well.