Puritan Gems

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

G.K Chesterton On Reason vs. Faith

G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was one of the biggest Christian apologists of the early 20th Century (literally, about 400 pounds worth).  A staunch Anglican, he battled against the materialistic worldviews of renowned friends and peers such as H.G. Wells, H.L. Mencken, and George Bernard Shaw. In his book Orthodoxy, Chesterton exposes the fallacy of pitting reason against faith.

"It is idle to talks always of the alternative of reason and faith.  Reason is itself a matter of faith.  It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.  If you are merely a sceptic, you must sooner or later ask yourself the question, "Why should anything go right; even observation and deduction?  Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic?  They are both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape?"  The young sceptic says, "I have a right to think for myself."  But the old sceptic, the complete sceptic, says, "I have no right to think for myself.  I have no right to think at all.""  (G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 2006 Relevant Media Group, p. 23)


NewKidontheBlogg said...

Interesting quote. Our mind is a gift from God and when it goes as with dementia, memory goes. But I see with dementia patients that their faith and love remain.

Jonathan Waldburger said...

Chesterton was only a staunch Anglican insofar as he could conceive Anglicanism as being Catholic. Eventually he realized this was impossible and he converted to Catholicism.