The ABCs of the Christian Life by G.K. Chesterton — The Ultimate Anthology of the Prince of Paradox (Ave Maria Press) Published August, 2017

Despite the somewhat unfortunate selection of the main title of Ave Maria Press, a read of this volume is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. A great Christian thinker and writer (but avowedly a staunch Catholic) his writiings and influence on a wide variety of people — both believers and non-believers, both in his time up to the present day for the last 100 years, is unequalled by any other writer — with the possible exception of C.S. Lewis (who, in turn, was heavily influenced by Chesterton).  I call the main title misleading (and possibly disappointing), because might expect to find a handbook from CJK on how to live an authentically Christian life  The subtitle (“Ultimate Anthology … “) is much more accurate in what this volume actually contains:  A selection of excerpts from all of Chesterton’s writings using both biblical (and some non-biblical, but important terms nonetheless) from “A” to “Z” that illustrate the topics that were of prime importance to CKG, as he battled the times of Europe in the very late 19th to very early 20th Centuries, and the social and philosophical upheavals as modernism , hedonism and nihilism were in the forefront, while pushing emphatically to drive serious Christian thinking and philosophy from writings and public discourse.  In his uniquely inimical style these short writings (rarely more than 3 -5 pages on topics like “Asceticism,” “Heretics,” and “Upon This Rock”), expounds on the Christian defense of the prevailing skepticism and hostility to religion of his day.  Thus, this book serves both as a serviceable and inspiring introduction and guidebook on the writings of this unique churchman, thinker and writer to those familiar, and especially to those who want a good overview about what all the fuss with Chesterton is about.  This compilation is well-worth a read to this very important thinker and writer.

Published by Ave Maria Press; 2017


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