Download Heretics Free PDF book 1905 by G. K. Chesterton

Download Heretics 1905 by  G. K. Chesterton, Free Book

Download Heretics  1905 by  G. K. Chesterton, Free Book



An excerpt from the introduction


NOTHING more strangely indicates an enormous and silent evil of modern society than the extraordinary use which is made nowadays of the word "orthodox." In former days the heretic was proud of not being a heretic. It was the kingdoms of the world and the police and the judges who were heretics. He was orthodox. He had no pride in having rebelled against them; they had rebelled against him. The armies with their cruel security, the kings with their cold faces, the decorous processes of State, the reasonable processes of law — all these like sheep had gone astray. The man was proud of being orthodox, was proud of being right. If he stood alone in a howling wilderness he was more than a man; he was a church. He was the center of the universe; it was round him that the stars swung. All the tortures torn out of forgotten hells could not make him admit that he was heretical. But a few modern phrases have made him boast of it. He says, with a conscious laugh, "I suppose I am very heretical," and looks round for applause. The word "heresy" not only means no longer being wrong; it practically means being clear-headed and courageous. The word "orthodoxy" not only no longer means being right; it practically means being wrong. All this can mean one thing, and one thing only. It means that people care less for whether they are philosophically right. For obviously a man ought to confess himself crazy before he confesses himself heretical. The Bohemian, with a red tie, ought to pique himself on his orthodoxy. The dynamiter, laying a bomb, ought to feel that, whatever else he is, at least he is orthodox.

Review by booklad
Heresy means a belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine and so a heretic would be a person holding such a belief or opinion. It’s a word we don’t use or hear much anymore, probably because we are afraid of certainty in religion. We prefer ‘tolerance’. This trend was gaining ground in Chesteron’s day. (Wouldn’t you love to hear what he would have to say about our world today?

Author: G. K. Chesterton

Publication Date: 1905


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