Ravi Zacharias, Philip Yancey, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien: these are just a few of the popular Christian writers who have acknowledged that the writings of G. K. Chesterton influenced their thought and faith. This alone is reason enough for the rest of us to pay attention and find out what he wrote and said. But as the creator of pithy statements such as “the Bible tells us to love our enemies as well as to love our neighbors– this is probably because they are generally the same people,” Chesterton has been described as the most frequently quoted Christian author of the twentieth century.
Since he wrote more than 80 books, 200 short stories, 4000 essays, 300 poems, and a handful of plays, his popularity may be no surprise. These works cover a wide variety of topics, from serious apologetics such as The Everlasting Man to lighthearted essays on such things as chasing one’s own hat that has been blown away by the wind. He is probably best known today, however, as the creator of the character Father Brown, a mystery-solving Catholic priest who is the title character of a popular BBC television series.
Born into a non-religious, progressive Victorian family, Chesterton’s own spiritual journey from atheism to Christianity is just as interesting as his fictional stories. This journey is discussed in Orthodoxy, an unusual and insightful book including a chapter called “The Ethics of Elfland,” in which he explains that when he was a child, fairy tales taught him specific concepts vital to his eventual conversion to faith.
This semester Urbana Theological Seminary is offering a class introducing the writings of G. K. Chesterton. This class will cover his best-known works while introducing his most influential ideas, including his apologetics, fiction, mysteries, essays, poems, and even a play.
If you would like to know more about the class, contact Dr. Melody Green at firstname.lastname@example.org